On last Saturday, according to reports by trekkers, 26 December 2015, there was a news of fire breakout at Kumara Parvatha hills trek. The fire was covered the area from Kallu Mantapa to Shesha Parvatha, a huge stretch of the Kumara Parvatha hills. This is second fire incident in the Western Ghats after Kudremukh forest fire leading to the ban of Kudremukh trek since the new year 2016.
Kumara Parvatha peak is a part of Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary. As the name suggests Pushpagiri stands for “Mountain of the flowers”. Because of the fire, most of the harm happened to the Pushpagiri.
It is also reported that a trekking group was stuck on the other side of the fire for almost nine hours because they could not make their way out of the fire and they had to wait until the fire would get subsided. A great damage has been reported mostly to the areas around Mantapa and Shesha Parvatha, hills before the final Kumara Parvatha peak.
During monsoon and also just after the monsoon, these western Ghats hills are covered in greenery. As the time passes, grasses die and the whole of the mountains becomes parched and completely dry. They change their colour from Green to yellowish. A fire caught during this time will surely be supported by the burning sun and the favorable dry grasses and dry environment plus wind.
Some trekkers are blaming it to the smoking habit of the fellow trekkers. Most of the guesses are boiling down to a bud not put off properly brought out the whole situation. Well, that might be the case as well.
From the last few months, forest department office has banned camping at the Kumara Parvatha peak after an accident. Now trekkers have to leave behind their gears at the forest department office and hike until Kumara Parvatha peak and return from there by evening after the hiking to pitch their camps near the forest department office.
Looking at this fire incident, many trekkers are fearing that the forest department office might ban the trekking to Kumara Parvatha completely. Well, if that happens, we will get to know soon as well.