Tiruvannamalai: A man-made fire in Adi Annamalai Reserve Forest in Tiruvannamalai Hills reduced nearly a hectare of greenery into ashes on Saturday. Forest officials and volunteers fought the fire for nearly two hours before bringing it under control. Forest Department officials said the fire broke out near the Sakthi Amman Temple in the reserve forest. Locals alerted officials as soon as they noticed smoke emanating from the forest. Forest personnel rushed to the spot and put out the fire with the help of local people and volunteers, using the branches of trees and other plants.
In the last four to five months, fires set by miscreants has destroyed several hectares of greenery, including herbal plants, shrubs and trees in the Annamalai Hills, which is believed to be the physical form of Lord Shiva. “It is a pure case of man-made fire. We fought for nearly two hours between 4.30 pm and 6.30 and brought the fire under control. We are conducting an enquiry to nab the miscreants who set fire to the forest,” said District Forest Officer of Trivuannamalai (south) V Naganathan.
He also said only grass was burned and no trees were destroyed in the fire. “We are planning to create an awareness among the public to protect the forest area. We will distribute pamphlets to the people to educate them about the importance of protecting the green cover,” he added.
A man-made fire in Adi Annamalai Reserve Forest in Tiruvannamalai Hills reduced a hectare of greenery into ashes.
Recently, the forest department had closed the eight-kilometre inner girivalam path, which extends along the foothill of the Annamalai holy mountains, to protect the green cover from miscreants and keep the Adi Annamalai reserve forest forest clean.