Fire Outbreak Near Mitiyala Reserve Friday Night; Flames Under Control

| Updated: March 19, 2022 5:31 pm

“A wildfire broke out on a large patch of grassland near the sanctuary for Asiatic lions in Gujarat’s Amreli district but it was brought under control before it could affect lions and other wildlife,” confirmed an official, late afternoon Saturday.

The blaze, which erupted on Friday evening, is nearly under control by over 300 forest personnel and firefighters. No animal casualty has been reported in the blaze so far and the area will be scanned for the next three days, according to inputs received.

The fire broke out in the bushes and tall grass on a hillock in the revenue area near the Mitiyala wildlife sanctuary, which is a protected area for Asiatic lions, and soon spread across 250 acres. “Some patches are still volatile and efforts are on to douse the flames. The fire in a majority of the area was brought under control before it could spread to the protected reserve,” stated Amreli collector Gaurang Makwana.

“The fire has been brought under control with the help of around 300 forest personnel, 10 fire tenders with 40 firefighters. Some of the patches where the fire tenders could not reach are still burning and efforts are under way to control it,” he added.

“Mitiyala forest range, which is located nearby, remains protected from the fire. We did not let the fire reach a rivulet that divides the two areas,” he said. Incidents of fire are not unusual in the area. Lions in these areas rush into the forest before they are affected by fires, the collector said, adding that no animal carcasses have been found so far and the area will be scanned for the next three days.

“Around 300 personnel of three forest ranges of Gir (East), Shetrunjay and Amreli social forestry, including officers, trackers, wildlife friends and locals, were involved in controlling the blaze,” a forest official said. “We have not registered any casualty of any wildlife, especially lions, and the area is being scanned,” he said.

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