Early forest fire in Western Ghats worries environmentalists
Deccan Chronicle.| Gururaj A Paniyadi
The fire was seen in the forest region between Dodderibetta and Malemane near Charmadi Ghat last week
The fire was seen in the forest region between Dodderibetta and Malemane near Charmadi Ghat last week. (DC file image)
Mangaluru: Forest fire in Western Ghats near Charmadi last week has left the environmentalists and villagers concerned. Activists want the forest department to have a proper study into the regular forest fire and provide a proper solution to this.
The fire was seen in the forest region between Dodderibetta and Malemane near Charmadi Ghat last week. Though it was extinguished by the fire department, activists have expressed shock at the forest fire as early as December.
"Forest fires are usually seen during summer. But this is the first time I am seeing it in the month of December. This is concerning as it would not only destroy the forest and the wildlife but also damage the water source of major rivers," activist and Sahyadri Sanchaya convener Dinesh Holla told Deccan Chronicle.
"The Coastal and the forest in the Western Ghat region received rain till December second week and now we have forest fire! Everybody knows that the forest fire destroys the vegetation there and also the animals. But regular forest fires would damage the vegetation in the forest due to which the underground water table is damaged. These forests are the catchment area for the major rivers and any damage to the underground water table will affect the rivers," he warned.
"Already there have been landslides in several places of Western Ghats. Repeated fire in the same place will loosen the soil in the forest which is washed away during heavy rain. Therefore, the elected representatives and the forest officials should take forest fire cases seriously and have a proper study on the reason. The forest department personnel should be provided modern facilities to effectively extinguish fire," he demanded.
Another activist who did not want to be named said that most of the forest fires were man-made.
"Many a time fires are because of people who go to the forest to collect forest products and those who light a campfire. Few people who come to some of the homestays and plantations also are the reason," he alleged.