Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve fire: Two days after, reason behind the wildfire still unknown
Two days back, a wildfire had spread across several zones in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh
Bhopal: A wildfire that had spread across several areas in Bandhavgarh National Park was brought under control, two days after it broke out, officials informed.
A massive fire was reported from parts of the Bandhavgarh National Park, which officials said might have affected the area spread in 200 km and damaged some ‘forest resources’.
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan reviewed the situation and instructed the authorities to take the necessary action in case of casualties of wild animals in the fire. According to reports, the principal secretary, forest informed the CM that the incident of fire had been controlled and that there had not been any considerable loss.
Incidentally, wildfires had engulfed parts of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR) in Umaria district but they were controlled after two days, a top forest official said. An inquiry has been set up to find the exact reason of the fire. There have been instances when resentful locals here, who have to bear the brunt of wild animals damaging their crops, start the fires.
Though the cause of the fire is unknown, a source talking to The Bridge Chronicle said, “Farmers here harvest mahua, which is used in alcohol manufacturing. Each farmer here earns more than 2 lakh per month during harvesting season of the crop. Now, to ward off animals in the reserve such as like elephants, they light small fires around the farms. This time, due to wind, the fire expanded to entire forest. This tiger reserve has more than 200 tigers and many exotic, protected wild life.”
There was no loss of animals as per the initial investigation. “The grasslands are intact and there had been no loss to wild animals,” Field Director of Bandhavgarh, Vincent Rahim was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Several Twitter users had shared pictures and videos to request authorities to take quick action.
This is the second tiger reserve where a wildfire has raised questions among environmentalists and conservationists. In March, a similar incident was reported at Similipal Reserve in Odisha.