Come summer and forest wildfire in the Seshachalam ranges is uncontrollable. The forest fire often spreads to nearby areas thereby creating widespread damage to the region. According to TTD forest officer D. Phanikumar Naidu, as a precautionary measure to control the incidence of wildfire, the TTD is gearing up with some special measures to meet any contingency.
At a press conference, the forest officer said that to protect the forest from wildfire in summer, the TTD was setting up watch towers, fire lines and fire fighting squads. “TTD has set 40 feet high four watchtowers in Tirupati and five towers in Tirumala forest belt comprising of 2,950 hectares. A well-equipped forest fire fighting squad is also kept on round the clock basis to keep a lookout for smoke that signals fire,” he added.
Nakkalavanka, Samidhula plots, firewood depot, SV poor home nursery in Tirupati range and Narayanagiri Padalu, Kakulakonda, windmills area, Chittekkudu (Gali Gopuram point) would be the areas under watch tower.
Phanikumar said: “Two forest guards would keep watch on 24-hour basis. While fire fighting squads comprising 80 members at Tirupati and 70 in Tirumala to keep regular watch. The guards are provided with two vehicles for each zone to reach the fire faster. They will use blowers to remove dry leaves and fire engines on roadside spots,”
In addition, the TTD is also planning to install cement water pits in the forest region to quench the thirst of wild animals.