Bandipur forest fire
Bandipur forest fireTwitter

The month of February has turned out to be an inferno in the state of Karnataka after several reports of fires were recorded in the state.

The massive blaze at Yelahanka air base on Saturday, where the Aero India 2019 air show was taking place another major fire accident was reported at Bandipur Tiger Reserve that resulted in the destruction of thousands of acres of forest land and another fire accident was reported from one of the most visited tourist spot in Karnataka, Nandi Hills.

Aero India gutted cars
Over 300 cars gutted in the parking lot of Yelahanka air baseTwitter

Over 300 cars were charred after a fire was sparked at the parking lot of the air force station where the air show was being conducted. The visitors were devastated over the condition of their cars or whatever was left of what once used to be. The lot turned out to be a cemetery for the parked cars. The fire was doused at the air show after the continuous effort from the fire brigade.

The Bandipur forest fire

Bandipur has the highest population of Tiger habitat in India, the reserve also houses several other animal species and is biodiversity-rich region along with Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Nagarahole National Park. The reserve covers almost 87,400 hectares of land.

The wildfire that broke in the reserve on Thursday quickly spread from one area of the forest to the neighbouring lands by Saturday due to its thick population of dry grasses aided by strong winds.

Although there are allegations that it is a manmade fire, no substantial evidence has been given as of now. Many claims that the fire happened due to the sudden climatic changes.

Bandipur fire
Bandipur Tiger Reserve firetwitter

A large expanse of forest areas has been destroyed in the major blaze, with reports of further incidents coming from Chamundi Hills, Netkal forest in Chikkamagaluru, Kuchhalu forest in Shivamogga area and several other places.

Movement of people and vehicles have been strictly banned on the National Highway-67 and inter-state roads across Bandipur until further notice. Teams of fire marshals, foresters and over 600 volunteers are desperately working together to douse the forest fire.

Dousing operations

Struggling to contain the forest fire, Karnataka government headed by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy sought the help of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to conduct an aerial survey of the fire. HDK also held talks with the defence ministry along with IAF to intervene in the matter and to sustain the flora and fauna of the state.

HDK also pressurised the air force officials to send helicopters to the rescue mission by drawing water from the nearby Nugu reservoir. Deputy CM G Parameshwara also assured that the dousing operations will soon be conducted by the air force team. The helicopter operations are likely to start by 5 pm.

Since Thursday, Bandipur range, spread over 874sqkm, has reported frequent fire accidents in Chamarajanagar and Mysuru districts: these have gobbled up 8,000 acres in four ranges of Bandipur. GS Range is near Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar, reported TOI.