Coonoor: Even as foresters expressed concerned over the recurrence of wild fires due to the dry weather and lack of rains here, the services of a helicopter was utilized for aerial firefighting to douse the wild forest fire raging in the challenging terrains of Saravanamalai, in the outskirts of this hill town.
The fire that broke out in Vandicholai area in the suburbs here in the first week of April, was put out in a couple of days with a large number of forest staff entering the jungles to douse it.
However, the smouldering continued over the past two weeks, leaving the foresters squirming.
On Sunday, forest fire was again spotted in Saravanamalai area next to Vandicholai. Though it is located far away from human settlements, there was a public hue and cry to douse the fire early, since the residents feared that the fire may spread to human settlements and farmlands nearby.
While the forest staff tried their beston Monday, the terrain and difficulty in transporting the machinery uphill proved to be deterrents. On Tuesday morning, forest department pressed an army helicopter into service.
The chopper sprayed a mixture of chemicals in the jungle slopes where the fire was raging. Stating that the situation is currently under control, Gurusamy Dabbala, District Forest Officer, said, "Very hot weather, a thick cushion consisting of duff and dried pine leaves in the Saravanamalai jungles, fueled the fire. Though only a couple of acres were affected by the fire there, it is feared that continuing hot weather may lead to recurrence of forest fire. We are monitoring the situation."...