Sariska fire: Officials on alert for 3 tigers, 2 cubs

Rajasthan: Military helicopters were pressed into service on Tuesday after a wildfire in the Sariska Tiger Reserve, which broke out on Sunday, began expanding, threatening the habitat of at least three tigers and two cubs.

The fire in the reserve, which falls under Rajasthan’s Alwar area, has been fanned across an area of 10 square kilometres by unusually hot and dry winds, officials said, while adding that some of the areas ablaze are out of reach of terrestrial firefighting equipment.

“The area under fire is at a height which is making it difficult to take any anti-fire equipment there. At present, effort is being made to douse fire manually and through water sprinkled by choppers,” said district forest officer of Sariska Tiger Reserve, Sudharshan Sharma.

The Rajasthan forest department has sought help from the army as well as the Indian Air Force. It has put six villages on high alert, asking residents to be ready to vacate villages in short notice, officials said.

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