Published: MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2014
Forest blaze in Wayanad 'man-made'
Thiruvananthapuram: A devastating fire, which destroyed around 300 hectares of forest in Wayanad in north Kerala two days ago, was found to be 'man-made' and the government has ordered a probe into it.

A total of 200 hectares of land in Begur Forest Range, 80 hectares in Tholpetty, 10 hectares in Muthanga and 10
hectares in the Sulthan Bathery range had been destroyed in the fire, first noticed on March 16, forest department sources
said.

Soaring humidity and heavy wind caused the fire to spread, they said.

A preliminary inquiry report submitted by Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Vigilance) C S Yalakki
to Forest Minister Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan, said it was a 'man-made' fire.

The report also said that the fire became 'uncontrollable due to the presence of large quantity of
flowered, dead and dry bamboos in the forest coupled with heavy winds.'

Damage to life and property of forest dwellers was
prevented through a joint operation of forest personnel, fire
and rescue officials and district administration, the report
said.
Acting on the report, the Minister has ordered a
detailed inquiry. PTI