Fire fighting operations in Sariska Tiger Reserve resumed Wednesday morning with two Indian Air Force helicopters, disaster relief personnel and local people pitching in to beat back the flames.
A forest official said the situation, developing since Sunday, was now “almost under control” in areas with thick easy-burning dry grass. But in the morning, flames still raged across a swathe of four or five square kilometres.
At one time, however, the wildfire had spread over 10 sq km.
“The fire did not spread much last night and has been brought under control by over 50 percent as compared to yesterday,” an official said on Wednesday.
He said the flames are now seen in area which has less dry grass.”Therefore we expect that it will not take much time now to completely control the fire,” he said.
Four adult tigers and five cubs move around the area where the fire broke out. But officials said no tiger is stuck in the area. The reserve in Alwar district has 27 tigers.
The official said the total forest area scorched by the forest fire will be assessed once the flames are doused.
The blaze had started on Sunday evening and was brought under control on Monday. But it flared again the same evening and continued through Tuesday, spreading up to an area of over 10 sq km at one point in the day.
“At present, the fire is in around four or five sq km area and helicopters are ferrying water from nearby Silisedh Lake to spray over it,” the official said.
Two State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams have been deployed, along with forest department staff, nature guides and local people. Altogether, about 200 people are involved in the fire-fighting effort.
The Forest Department had earlier asked people in adjacent villages not to enter the forest area.