MP CM reviews wildfire situation in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

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(Eds: Adding quotes from a forest official) Bhopal/Umaria, Mar 31 (PTI) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday reviewed the wildfire situation at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR) in the state's Umaria district.

According to forest authorities, wildfires have been reported in parts of the reserve since the last two days and had spread to several zones.

The chief minister reviewed the situation and instructed the authorities to take necessary action in case of casualties of wild animals in the blaze, an official from the state public relations department said.

The principal secretary (forest) has informed the chief minister that the incidents of fire have been controlled and there has been no loss of any kind, the official said.

'No wild animals or birds have died in the fire and the blaze was totally controlled by 11 AM,' Madhya Pradesh's Head of Forest Force (HOFF) Rajesh Shrivastava told PTI.

The fire spread fast due to high-speed winds and dried leaves of bamboo plants and shoots in the affected areas, he said.

'We are probing the fire that spread to four zones of the reserve. It is not clear if the fire had started due to natural reasons or it was a mischief,' the official said.

Meanwhile, local forest sources in BTR said the fire, which broke out two days ago, had spread to several zones of the reserve including Magadhi, Tala and Dhamokhar ranges.

Visuals of flames engulfing the forest land have also surfaced on social media, it was stated.

The BTR's field director Vincent Rahim could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. PTI COR ADU MAS ARU ARU