KOCHI: Though the wildfire in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve has been contained, the fire that spread to Mudumalai National Park has reached within 4 km range of the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, creating concern among the tribal people and forest officers in the district. Meanwhile, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF-wildlife northern region) B N Anjan Kumar, who visited the border areas and held discussions with officers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, expressed confidence that the fire would be contained by Wednesday evening.
“The wildfire has reached around 4 km close to Wayanad forest and we are putting all efforts to douse it before it reaches the state border. We have deployed a team of forest watchers who are working in tandem with staff from Bandipur and Mudumalai forest divisions to douse the fire.” “We have also mobilised some volunteers from Wayanad and Kozhikode who are trained in disaster management.
A team of 10 tribal people from the settlement colony in Wayanad have also joined the team. “The fire will be doused by Wednesday evening or Thursday and we are confident of stopping it before it reaches within 2 km range of the Wayanad forest,” he told Express. A team of forest officers from Bandipur led by Moolehole Range Officer has gone to Mudumalai to help the Tamil Nadu Forest staff. Karnataka is providing logistic support to Tamil Nadu officers supplying food, water and glucose to the fire-fighters.
“Tamil Nadu has not revealed its strategy but I have communicated with the Mudumalai Deputy Director Senbagapriya who has promised to share all relevant information. The fire in Bandipur forest has been contained and the area bordering Kerala is 100 per cent safe,” said Anjan Kumar.