COIMBATORE: Summer showers for the second consecutive day on Sunday in Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) and Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) have brought temporary relief from forest fires, which have destroyed much forest in these sanctuaries.
In the severe drought facing the State even before peak summer, reserve forests in Coimbatore and The Nilgiris districts have also been troubled by fires. Officials expect the showers to prevent forest fires for the next few weeks. Though there has not been enough rain, chances of fresh vegetation, including grass growing are high in the coming days, which will benefit herbivores like elephants, deer and gaur. Though the 321-sq km MTR has over 600 km of fire prevention lines, two recent fires destroyed 50 hectares of forest in Kargudi and five hectares in Masinagudi.
“The showers are great relief. They have reduced chances of fire in the next couple of weeks” MTR Deputy Director V A Saravanan told Express. “We have found that the tribal people start fires, but we don’t have evidence. We have been creating awareness among them on the harm the fires causes,” he added.