A major forest fire has been reported from the famous Tadoba Tiger Reserves in Chandrapur district, some 180 kms from Nagpur on Saturday and the initial estimates say that at least 50 sq kms area of the forest of shrub land has been devastated and has reduced to ashes.
According to reports reaching this evening, the fire was first noticed on Friday evening in the buffer zone of the reserve forest and soon it had engulfed the protected forest areas.
The areas that badly affected were: Pandhar-Pauni, Khaparda, Bamni and Parasgaon jungle of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserves. The preliminary reports claimed that not only evergreen forest tracts of the area were badly hit by the fire but different species of wildlife were also affected in the wake of engulfing fire.
Though forest department officials claimed they had burnt the fire line as a measure to control the forest fire, the unprecedented dry weather and absence of moisture has caused the fire to spread rapidly.
The field director of Tadoba tiger project, Sheshrao Patil admitted that over 65 hectares of Tadoba jungle was reduced into ashes following this sudden fire.
“We are trying our level best to extinguishing the fire,” he claimed. The forest fire control department of Chandrapur is struggling to extinguish it," he further claimed.
Tadoba, one of project tiger reserves in the state, is spread over 623 sq kms of high hills and lush valleys and under dense teak and bamboo forests. The reserve is also a home for rare wildlife, like wild dogs, leopards, sloth bears, gaur, hyenas and jungle cats, along with a population of around 42 tigers.