MYSURU: With forest fire killing a forest personnel and injuring three others in Bandipur, Forest Minister Ramanth Rai said a high-level probe will be ordered to know the exact reason of the fire and assess the ecological damage.
Rai said a team comprising senior forest officials will conduct the probe. Speaking to media persons here on Tuesday, he said the forest fire is under control now and observed that the growth of lantana weeds contributed to its rapid spread.
He said all precautionary measures including fire lines have been maintained to control forest fires during summer.
He said shortage of staff will be addressed by filling up the posts of guards and watchers. Rai said the government will provide modern equipment to forest personnel. He said India cannot be compared with Europe where helicopters are used to put out fires.
"We are functioning with our limitations and are successful in containing forest fires with traditional methods," he added.
He announced that the government will pay Rs 25 lakh compensation to the kin of deceased forest guard Murugappa. District Minister H C Mahadevappa said forest personnel who suffered burns in the incident are out of danger. He said the government will pay their medical bills.
The Forest Department has started estimating ecological damage and the casualties of wild animals. Forest personnel will start identifying the death of wild animals only from Thursday as it is too hot to even step on the heaps of ashes as of now.
The personnel are also put on alert as there are reports that the fire is spreading in N Beggur forest range.