Fire in Punjab’s Harike sanctuary, rare animals and birds feared killed | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Fire in Punjab’s Harike sanctuary, rare animals and birds feared killed

The officials initially ruled out any major loss but witnesses said they saw some animals burnt in the fire

punjab Updated: May 09, 2017 09:57 IST
HT Correspondents
(Representative image)

A fire broke out late evening on Monday in the world-famous wildlife and bird sanctuary at Harike, near the confluence of Sutlej and Beas rivers, in Punjab.

The fire engulfed several acres of the sanctuary which is home to many rare animal and bird species. Employees of the wildlife department of Punjab with the help of fire brigade were making efforts to bring the fire under control till the filing of this report close to midnight.

Baljit Singh, range officer of Punjab’s forest and wildlife department said that the sanctuary caught fire at around 8.15pm from the side which adjoins some farm fields where the farmers burning straw of wheat crop.

“After getting clue of it, we deployed our all employees to douse the flames. Within half an hour, we brought it under control by throwing water with buckets, which was the only way out we had to douse the flames”, he said.

He claimed that the fire spread over 3 kanals and it did not affect any animal, but unofficial sources told to HT that it spread over 2-3 acres which would have damaged the wild animals living there. Nearby people saw these animals wandering here and there to save themselves from fire some came out of the sanctuary.