A major fire in Karnataka’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve destroyed over 400 acres of forest land and killed hundreds of wild animals on Saturday. Foresters suspect the fire was an act of sabotage.
Dry grass and lantana weed, present across the forest, made the fire spread rapidly even into the core forest areas within a few minutes. The strong wind gave foresters, firemen, wildlife volunteers, and villagers a tough time in bringing the blaze under control. The fire was first noticed near Mangala, Shivapura, and Hundipura on Friday.
With foresters closing the checkpoint gate at Melkammanahalli, the entrance to Bandipur Tiger Reserve on the Mysuru-Ooty highway, weekend travelers en route to Ooty were stranded. While some waited for foresters to open the gate, others returned to Mysuru.