Forest fire Death toll rises, CM warns trekkers

Forest fire: Death toll rises, CM warns trekkers

The death toll in the Theni forest fire has risen to 10. The district collector’s office also released a list of names identifying those injured as well as those yet to be traced.

A group of 39 trekkers, comprising mostly women, were trapped in a forest fire in the hills above Kurangani, a tourist spot in the Western Ghats of Theni district, on Sunday evening. Among them, ten were confirmed dead.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the IAF had been instructed to help the rescue operation and its personnel were sent to rescue victims.

Meanwhile, the focus is now on conducting safe trekking. There are some organisations which do conduct safe trekking.

The trekkers who were caught in a forest fire in the Western Ghat’s Kurangani Hill ranges did not have permission for an expedition, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

He ordered a probe into the incident that led to the death of ten people and also announced Rs 4 lakh solatium to next of kin of deceased.

Stern action would be taken in the future against trekkers who undertake such expeditions without the state’s permission, he said.

During the summer months of March, April and May permission to trek is not given as the high forest ranges are dry with the possibility of forest fires spreading fast, he added.