Ooty: A little over 300 acres of forests in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) is now estimated to have been destroyed in the recent weekend wildfire as foresters employed temporary staff to bring the situation under control.
Both the MTR and the Bandipur Tiger Reserve (BTR) in Karnataka bordering the MTR, witnessed a ravaging forest fire on Saturday evening. In BTR, helicopters were used on Monday to douse the fire and this brought relief to the MTR border. In MTR, foresters employed nearly 200 temporary staff to extinguish the fire, the most disastrous in the recent years, over the past couple of days to bring the situation under control.
Mr.Deepak Srivastava, field director of MTR (in-charge) said that nearly 250 acres were destroyed both in the core as well as in the buffer zones of the MTR by the wildfire. Another 50 acres were damaged while foresters employed the counter-fire technique to prevent the spread of fire from the opposite side.
“Counter-fire is what is deliberately initiated in front of an active wild fire. This counter-fire consumes some of the combustible material and creates a fire belt that the wildfire has difficulty in crossing. In this way, the counter- fire prevents wildfire from spreading from one side to the other side, so that jungles in the other side are saved,” he explained.
A.Pushpakaran, deputy director of MTR (buffer zone) said that most of the dried grass, dried up old trees and wind-fallen trees bore the brunt of the recent wildfire in the MTR buffer zone. It is suspected that some anti-social elements torched the jungles at around ten spots. An investigation is underway to book the culprits, he added....