Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 14 (PTI) A forest fire, that broke out in Thrissur district, has been brought under control and there was no casualty of humans or wildlife, Kerala Forest Minister K Raju told the state Assembly today.
The fire, that covered around 30 hectares of the forest area in Athirappally and Pillapar on March 11, has been put out and the situation was under control, he said.
Raju was replying to a submission by Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala about the fire.
Chennithala asked the government to take extra care and precaution to prevent forest fires, citing the mishap in Theni in neighbouring Tamil Nadu that claimed 11 lives.
Divulging details of the steps taken by the government to prevent forest fires, the minister said nine vulnerable forest areas have been identified and steps initiated to monitor them closely.
Trekking in forests has been temporarily banned, he said, adding that the government does not want to end eco-tourism and this was only an interim step.
However, he said the state government would take stern action against private tour operators if they conduct trekking without the permission of the Forest department.
“It has come to the notice of the government that some private tour operators undertake illegal trekking operations,” he said.
Raju also noted that most of the forest fires were man-made and were due to their negligence.
Kerala has temporarily banned trekking in its forests as a precautionary measure in the wake of the fire in the Kurangani hills of Theni in neighbouring Tamil Nadu on March 10.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.