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March 16, 2018

Unseasonal rain brings relief from forest fires

Downpour also expected to ease water scarcity in two major tiger reserves

Unseasonal rain, moderate to heavy, in Nagarahole and Bandipur Tiger Reserves and in most parts of Kodagu district since Wednesday has brought temporary relief from forest fires.
The downpour is also expected to ease water scarcity in the country’s two major tiger reserves with several water bodies said to have dried up because of the continued dry spell.
Said to have triggered from a cyclone, the showers cooled the forests which had gone bone dry. Forest authorities were on their toes since the last many weeks to avert forest fires that are usually reported in summer.
Sources in the Forest Department said the rain has brought relief from outbreak of fires for at least the next two weeks with the downpour drenching the vegetation.
When contacted, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Madikeri) Maria Christu Raja, who holds additional charge as director of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, said Nagarahole and most parts of south and north Kodagu received reasonably good rain since Wednesday. The downpour was concentrated on Thursday, he added.
He said the rain was widespread with most ranges of Nagarahole reserve receiving the showers since last two days. Rain has also been reported from Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
Come summer, the department mobilises their resources to safeguard forests from fires. The tiger reserves have taken measures to prevent fires.
Additional manpower, usually from the local tribal communities, is roped in to fight fires. In both the reserves, fire lines had been drawn, a routine exercise before the onset of summer to control spreading of fires. More men are usually deployed in those forest ranges that are prone to fires besides keeping water containers ready in key locations to attend to any minor fires.
In Shivamogga
Shivamogga, Tirthahalli, Hosanagar, and Sagar taluks received intermittent drizzle on Thursday owing to depression over the southeast Arabian Sea. The drizzle brought welcome relief from the simmering heat being experienced from the last 10 days. Cloudy sky prevailed in Shivamogga city for most part of the day. Maximum temperature that was around 34C plummeted to 29C on Thursday.
In Hassan
Heavy rain lashed Hassan city on Thursday evening. It started drizzling around 3.30 p.m. and was followed by heavy rain around 5.30 p.m to 7 p.m. Many employees and schoolchildren returning home were stuck in traffic.
Many roads were flooded causing difficulty to motorists. Power supply was disrupted in many localities. Parts of Holenarsipur, Channarayapatna and Arkalgud taluks also received rain.