Huge fire at Sariska tiger reserve, IAF choppers deployed to put out blaze
Jaipur, March 29 (PTI): Over 200 people and two Indian Air Force helicopters were pressed into service to control a wildfire spread over 10 sq km of the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan’s Alwar, officials said on Tuesday.
The fire had started on Sunday evening and was brought under control on Monday.
A few hours later in the evening, the forest fire flared again and was continuing till Tuesday evening.
The Forest Department asked people of nearby villages not to enter the forest area.
The officials said no tiger is stuck in the affected area and their movement is being monitored.
The Sariska reserve has 27 tigers, they added.
Earlier looking at the situation, the district administration sought air assistance from the IAF, which deployed two Mi-17 V5 helicopters to control the fire.
Sariska Field Director R N Meena said the forest staff, nature guides and local people are engaged in efforts to control the fire but they are facing difficulties due to hilly terrain, he said.
The fire on hills has been partially controlled, Meena added.
District Forest Officer (Sariska) Sudharshan Sharma said the helicopters have made eight rounds till Tuesday evening.
The fire has spread over 10 sq km area and efforts are being made to control it.
“The area under fire is at a height due to which there are difficulties in firefighting,” he said.
The officer said that the fire is spreading due to dry grassland and bamboo trees.
People in Baletha, Prithvipura, Nayawas and Bhatyla villages have been asked to take precautions and avoid entering the forest.
The fire has spread in Rodkela, Narandi, Kalakadi, Katighati, and Naharsati area of the Reserve.