Close to 100 hectares of forest in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary gutted in fire

Around 150 persons took six hours to douse the flames

Updated - April 12, 2024 11:22 am IST

Published - April 11, 2024 08:15 pm IST - KALPETTA

Fire and Rescue Services personnel dousing a fire in the Karassery forest under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on Thursday.

Fire and Rescue Services personnel dousing a fire in the Karassery forest under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on Thursday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Close to 100 hectares of forest were destroyed in a fire in the Sulthan Bathery forest range under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) on Thursday.

The incident was reported around 10.30 a.m. at Karassery under the Naikkatty section of the forest in WWS. It later spread to Kumbram Kolly, Ezhekkar, Narikkolly and  Kottanode areas of the forest under the sanctuary, sources said. The fire also spread to a rubber plantation near the sanctuary.

A fire in the Sulthan Bathery forest range under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. | Video Credit: Special Arrangement

Three units of Fire and Rescue Services force — two from Sulthan Bathery and one from Kalpetta — rushed to the spot upon being alerted by residents.

Close to 150 persons, including employees of the Forest department and Fire and Rescue Services department and local people, took nearly six hours to douse the flames, P. Nidheesh Kumar, Fire and Rescue Services Station officer, Sulthan Bathery, said. The fire destroyed close to 100 hectares of forest and a small area of private plantations, he said.

“We managed to bring the fire under control by 4.30 p.m. by pumping water with four fire tenders and using manual fire beaters,” he said.

This was the fourth fire incident in the sanctuary this year, and two days ago, a fire broke out at Vellakode destroying around two hectares of forest.

Mr. Kumar said accumulated fuels like dried bamboo pods, high temperature due to the absence of summer rain, heavy wind, and withered undergrowth caused the fire to spread rapidly.

It was reported that lower mammals and reptiles sustained injuries in the fire.

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