Three killed in forest fire in Kerala
The toll in forest fire in Kerala’s Thrissur district rose to three with the death of one more forest guard, police said on Monday. Two guards were burnt to death on Sunday while trying to douse the fire in Desmangalam range. One more succumbed to burns late on Sunday and two others were admitted to a hospital, they said.
The guards got into flames while they were trying to control a wildfire which began on Sunday afternoon. They were trying to douse the fire manually but the accompanying wind trapped them, a senior forest official said. State Forest Minister K Raju condoled the death of guards and promised all help to the families of the deceased. The deceased have been identified as P Divakaran, Velayudhan and K Shankaran.
The fire has been put under control now, according to latest reports.
Forest officials said the sudden hike in temperature might have triggered the massive fire. For the last few days, mercury rose steadily in the state with temperature going up from 2 degree Celsius to four degree Celsius. On Sunday, Palakkad recorded 38 degree C, unusual for the month of February. Some areas have already been witnessing water shortage due to spike in temperature. Metrological department said climatic change and changing wind pattern were reasons for the unusual swing in temperatures.
The state had witnessed two consecutive floods in last two years.
As the temperature rose sharply the state has put restrictions on trekking and other activities in forests. In 2018, 23 people, mostly trekkers, were burnt to death in a forest fire in Kurangani hills along Tamil Nadu-Kerala borders.
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