Kerala

Wildfire under control

Bodies of tribal watcher K.U. Divakaran (43) of Vazhachal, and temporary watchers Velayudan, (54) and Sankaran (55), both from Kodumbu, who were killed while trying to douse Sunday’s forest fire in the Illikundau range near Desamangalam, being kept for the public to pay homage at the Poongode forest station on Monday.

Bodies of tribal watcher K.U. Divakaran (43) of Vazhachal, and temporary watchers Velayudan, (54) and Sankaran (55), both from Kodumbu, who were killed while trying to douse Sunday’s forest fire in the Illikundau range near Desamangalam, being kept for the public to pay homage at the Poongode forest station on Monday.   | Photo Credit: K.K. Najeeb

₹7.5 lakh each for kin of deceased

The wildfire near Desamangalam has been brought under control, according to official sources.

The three forest staff who lost their lives while trying to douse it were part of a group of officials who went to control the forest fire in the Illikundau range.

While tribal watcher K.U. Divakaran, 43, of Vazhachal and temporary watcher Velayudan, 54, of Kodumbu were charred to death in the forest itself, Sankaran, 55, of Kodumbu, another temporary watcher, sustained 90% burns and died at Jubilee Mission Hospital here by 11.30 p.m. on Sunday.

All the three were attached to the Poongode forest station, under which the Illikkundu forest range falls.

According to local people, fire has been raging in the forest area for the past three days.

Frequent fire incidents have been reported from this area.

Compensation

Forest Minister K. Raju has announced an interim compensation of ₹7.5 lakh each to the families of the dead.

Of the financial aid, the government will give ₹5 lakh.

The Minister directed the Periyar Tiger Foundation to give ₹2.5 lakh.

A decision on providing job to a dependant of the deceased would be taken after discussions at the government level.

The government would bear the expense of treatment and funeral functions, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 7:53:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/fire-under-control/article30845761.ece

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