Chikkamagaluru: A wildfire is said to have broken out in the Baloor reserve forest in Charmadi ghat area between Dakshina Kannada and this district on Thursday.
Forest personnel have rushed to the spot and are being assisted by residents around in extinguishing the fire.
The reserve forest is part of the Western Ghats which is known for world’s rarest species of flora and fauna. A large portion of it is feared to have perished in the fire.
For long, international conservationists have been cautioning over the dwindling number of animals and plants in these ranges because of deforestation and pollution caused by urbanization.
When the last reports came in, the fire was spreading. Dousing operation has been made difficult because of the mountainous location and dense forests. A few enviormentalists have suggested spraying of water cannons from above to meet with the situation.
Outbreak of wildfire in winter is rarely heard of. When asked about this point, a senior forest official said that many holidayers camp in the reserve forests without permission. The officials suspect that the incident may have been caused by flames ignited by them for campfire.