22 April 2012

Arunachala Hill Fire

On Friday evening (April 20th) a fire broke out on the Hill slope directly behind Ramana Ashram. Many people had recently remarked on how dry Arunachala was looking. Which was a consequence of very hot days since mid February and the lack of a substantial water table because of the meagre rainfall last season thereby depriving moisture to the plants and trees.

Photograph of Hill Fire night - April 20, 2012

The fire devastated vast tracts of greenery on the Hill, starting on the south slope and spreading eastwards and upwards. A group of volunteers and some forest personnel were on the Hill throughout the night in an effort to beat out the flames with bunches of green plants and tree branches. Although there were fire lines on the Hill created by gaps between the foliage, the fire crossed many of these fire lines because of strong winds. 

Dry lemon grass which caught fire on the Hill was instrumental in the speed and ferocity of the conflagration. Sadly large tracts of greenery planted over the years and also newly planted saplings have been destroyed. 


murali said...

This news made me sad. Many people had contributed towards the greenery. I hope the level of destruction is not too great..

Narasa Raju said...

I was there in the Ashram with my parents on 20-04-12 and witnessed the fire at around 6:45 to 7:00. The sky became reddish gold when I witnessed that.


Meenakshi Ammal said...

Its very sad that the fire has caused such devastation especially as the trees and foliage on Arunachala were growing and looking so wonderful.

I also was outside when the fire first became visible on the Hill and my first thought was of the horror and panic that the wildlife caught up in the fire must be feeling.

I delayed posting the narrative about the fire -- as it is in fact so sad. And when I hear more about the fire, will post on Arunachala Grace.

In the meantime have to give thanks to all the volunteers and forest department folk that spent the night on the Hill trying to contain and beat out the fire.