Chalakudy: After a raging wildfire claimed as many as 11 lives in Theni, a forest blaze was reported from Thrissur.
The fire force personnel have begun efforts to douse the fire along Pillapara, Athirappilly and Vadamuri, regions near Chalakudy. This range in contiguous with the Valparai, Parambikulam-Aliyar, Peringalkuthu, Mundanthurai forests of Tamil Nadu.
As many as 60 personnel are engaged in efforts to douse the fire in Chalakudy. The personnel are also taking the help of local residents.
They were able to completely douse the fire along Konnakuzhy and Chaippankuzhy regions. About 30 hectares of undergrowth were destroyed in the fire. Officials suspect arson. Reports said personnel did not have the wherewithal to fight a major blaze, putting serious question marks on their safety.
11 dead in Theni
Eleven people, who were part of a trekking expedition, were killed in a forest fire in Kurangani hills in Theni at the Western Ghats.
A 36-member team 24 people from Chennai and 12 from Tiruppur and Erode districts on a trekking expedition reached Kurangani hills on March 10. The team included 25 women and three children.
As many as three days before the tragedy, forest officials were reportedly aware of the raging blaze. It was not known why the officials gave permission for the trekkers to enter the forest despite being aware of the blaze.
The trekking expedition was alleged to have been organised by the Chennai Trekking Club (CTC), an online group of over 40,000 members. The police plan to question the founder of CTC Peter Van Geit, a Belgian IT professional, who has been living in Chennai for the past several years.
Bordering Kerala, Theni district, surrounded by the Western Ghats, is home to about 35,481 hectares of reserve and 31,094 of unclassified forest. The district is also a favourite destination for film shoots.
According to government data, Theni is also a key route for the nature lovers to important tourist destinations like Munnar and Thekkadi in neighbouring Kerala.
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