CHENNAI: The Kerala government on Monday temporarily banned all trekking to Kurangani Hills til the clearing of all fire lines. A massive forest fire broke out in Kurangani hills of Tamil Nadu's Theni district, claiming nine lives and injuring several others. The fire has now been doused.
Issuing the directions, PK Kesavan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Kerala, said, “Chief Secretary, Govt of Kerala & Chairman of State Disaster Management authority has issued directions that trekking to the hills should be stopped until all fire lines are cleared.”
A order comes in to immediate this effect said, a statement issued by the chief minister's office said.
The State Forest Department has been directed to take all necessary precautions to prevent forest fires, the statement quoted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as saying. He added that the Authority was closely monitoring the situation.
The Idukki district collector and police superintendent were given instructions to assist the rescue operations undertaken by Tamil Nadu officials immediately when it was known that the fire had broken out in Theni district on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, Vijayan said.