Chamarajanagara, Karnataka, Feb 26 : Two IAF choppers which was pressed into the service yesterday to douse the forest fire at Bandipur National Park continued the operation on Tuesday morning.
Carrying out nine sorties till late in the evening, the choppers sprayed about two tonnes of water in each sortie to contain the raging fire and similar operation began this morning . Officials said nearly 9000 to10000 acres of forest land was destroyed in the devastating fire. The choppers are positioned at Mysuru.
According to Ambadi Madhav, Field Director in charge of Bandipur it was seen that ash and skeletons of burnt trees and animals everywhere in the forests of Bandipur National Park. Embers emitting smoke was also found amid ashes. The officials claimed that there was no wildfire anywhere in the forests on Tuesday morning.
However, firefighters, including forest staff were on an alert in case of any more fire. Two IAF helicopters sprayed water on the forests at Chalmalla, where fire was still spreading on Tuesday morning.
Karnataka Minister for Forest Sathish Jarkiholi was still doing the rounds in the forests. District in-charge Minister C Puttarangashetty also took stock of the situation and said the wildfire was totally under control. Perhaps for the first time in Karnataka and the second time in South India, IAF choppers rushed to put out the fire following a request by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy who apprised IAF officials on Monday morning after personally reviewing the situation in Bandipur with his officials.
The IAF deployed two Mi-17 V5 choppers towards the end of the day. The IAF had assisted Andhra Pradesh in 2014 to douse the fire across Tirumala hills. (UNI)