While the movement of the tigers have been affected by the fire, what led to the incident is yet to be ascertained.
Jaipur: After almost a day since a massive fire broke out at the Sariska Tiger Reserve, the authorities sought assistance of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to douse the flames. Subsequently, two IAF choppers undertook a bambi bucket operation to sprinkle water on the fire.
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While the movement of the tigers have been affected by the fire, what led to the incident is yet to be ascertained, said the officials of the tiger reserve. They added, around 200 personnel, including forest staff, have been pressed into action to douse the flames. The fire reportedly broke out Monday.
According to an official, the IAF deployed two Mi 17 V5 helicopters for the operation after the Alwar district administration sought its help.
The district forest officer, Sudarshan Sharma, said, “The fire has spread across 10 square kilometre but the biggest challenge is since most of the area is at a height, it is becoming difficult to take any firefighting equipment up there to douse the flames.”
The Sariska Tiger Reserve, which is set inside the Aravalli Range, is surrounded by human habitats and thus the forest officials have alerted the settlements about the fire and have asked them to move to safety.
The fire, which reportedly broke out in the Baletha area, has further spread to Rodkela, Narandi, Kalakadi, Katighati and Naharsati areas due to the dry grassland and bamboo in the region, said the forest officials.
Although the officials said there is no reason to worry as no tiger is stuck in the fire, there are some concerns over the movement of ST-17 as she was last spotted in the area on March 26. The forest officials are constantly monitoring the movements of the tigers and said in such circumstances, tigers and other wild animals usually tend to take protection and avoid going near the fire.