KOZHIKODE: Since February, forest staff in Wayanad have been on high alert and it was due to their timely intervention that two forest fires that broke out in Mepaddi range last month were brought under control.
Though close to 60 hectares of grassland were destroyed in the fire at Elambileri peak, the forest staff were able to douse the flames before it spread to other areas where tribals live.
Trekking on famous trails such as Pakshpathalam, Banasura, Tusharagiri and Brahmagiri has already been restricted and entry to Chembra peak has been banned. “We are doing campaigns on social media and WhatsApp groups to prevent people from entering the forests. Visitors to Wayanad on excursions have been warned not to enter forest areas,” said Meppadi Range Forest Officer Krishnadas R.
Trekking to Chembra peak had been suspended since January 15 to prevent forest fires. The Forest Department has been cautious as a forest fire last year gutted 100 hectares of grassland at the peak.