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Rain keeps summer fires in check in The Nilgiris forest range

According to the meteorological department, apart from a few days in April first week, places like Kundah received 10mm, Avlanchi 25mm, Emerald 28mm, Coonoor 12mm, Burliar 12mm on April 9.

Published: 11th April 2022 12:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th April 2022 12:46 PM   |  A+A-

Nilgiris forest fires |Express

Nilgiris forest fires |Express

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: A few spells of rain have helped forest managers, especially in the Nilgiris forest division breathe easy as there have not been any major fires in the region so far this summer. The rain also brought respite to wild animals, especially young ones, from the searing heat.

The Nilgiris division has 11 forest ranges spread over 52,000 hectares. A total of 14 forest fires occurred in the summer of 2021 (till May 12) and about 15.170 hectares were destroyed. Of the 14 incidents, five occurred in wenlock downs reserve forest coming under the Udhagamandalam South forest range. This year, eight forest fire incidents occurred so far and about 9.258 hectares were destroyed. The last fire incident occurred on March 18 at Ebbanadu reserve forest in Udhagai North forest range in which two hectares were destroyed.

An official from Nilgiris Forest Division said, "The region received around six days of rain in the last ten days of March.  On March 21 the division received 1.6 mm and on the next day it increased up to 14.7 mm. Likewise, 21.6mm on March 24, 20.5 mm on March 30 and 23.6 mm on March 31.  Compared to last year, the division gets excess rainfall. We had received rainfall of 3.4 mm and 27.6 mm on March 11 and 12 respectively.

According to the meteorological department, apart from a few days in April first week, places like Kundah received 10mm, Avlanchi 25mm, Emerald 28mm, Coonoor 12mm, Burliar 12mm on April 9.

A forest department official said "We have seen wild elephants migrating to the Nilgiris division in search of water in the recent days following rain. This is a good sign and this reduces the chances of conflict in the plains. We have found that most forest fire incidents are man-made. However, it is difficult to arrest the people as we can't identify them when there are hundreds of tourists visiting the division.  As a result, we have been sensitizing the tourists not to throw cigarettes and as well as tribals not to set fire to old grass to get fresh grass practices by issuing pamphlets.  

MG Ganesan Deputy Director of Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) said, "Usually, in the first week of April, we experience scorching heat. However, the sudden weather change and rain helped to prevent forest fires in Pollachi, Ulanthy, Valparai and Manomboly forest ranges. Only two forest fires occurred this year in Kadamparai (Valparai) and Topslip (Ulanthy forest range)." Further, Ganesan said a fire prevention line has been created for 170 km inside the ATR.



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