Karnataka

Vardha douses fears of forest fires in national parks

Cyclone Vardha’s effect brought moderate but widespread showers across Bandipur and Nagarahole national parks at a time when authorities were bracing up for an outbreak of forest fires. Large swathes of both the national parks had turned bone dry well ahead of summer owing to the failure of the south-west monsoon this year.

There were even a few minor fires reported in Bandipur. So, the recent rainfall has been a relief for the authorities as well as the wildlife.

Bandipur National Park director Hiralal told The Hindu that though the rainfall had covered the entire 874.78 sq km of national park and this would provide relief for at least two to three weeks. ‘Fresh shoots of vegetation coupled with moisture due to rain will help stave off forest fires for two to three weeks,” he said.

Earlier, the authorities had requisitioned for two fire extinguishers to quell any outbreak of conflagration in the forests.

Similarly, Nagarahole has received moderate showers across Veeranahoshalli, Hunsur, D.B. Kuppe, Antharsanthe, and Nagarahole range, and the moisture is expected to help stave off any fire in the near future. Nagarahole park director Manikantan said the rainfall, though moderate and at places scanty, has helped moisten the landscape, and this would prevent fires.

He said it will also help in controlled burning of the fire lines, which is a time-tested method of controlling forest fires.

The fire line refers to the bald patch of vegetation created through controlled burning that is created along demarcated boundaries. It prevents fire from spreading from one portion of the forest to another.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 11:08:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Vardha-douses-fears-of-forest-fires-in-national-parks/article16806623.ece

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