His deputy O Panneerselvam and the others oversaw the operations, he said. The fire broke out in the Kurangani region six days ago. A probe has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the fire, the official said.
Ten people, who were part of a trekking expedition, have been killed in a forest fire in the Western Ghats, the Tamil Nadu government said.
Das said that he found it "surprising" that a group of women trekkers went into a forest with little knowledge and no permission from the authorities.
In future, officials should ensure that adequate steps are in place for the safety of the trekkers, he added. There are only 57 serving personnel in the area and there is no continuous monitoring due to the increased work schedule, sources said.
As summer months are the peak tourist season, the Department offices across Karnataka are flooded with applications from wildlife enthusiasts seeking permission for trekking.
A forester named Jayasingh, associated with the Munthal section of the Bodi forest range, was suspended on Tuesday by the Forest Department. On the contrary, the state government had stated that the trekkers lack permits from the forest department.
However, officials have denied this. Only experienced trekkers undertake such trips.
Both the organisers came under scanner after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that the trekkers entered the forest without taking permission.
Chennai: The blame game is on over the Kurangani fire tragedy.
"As a normal seasonal cultivation practice, local farmers at the base burn grass during this season and on Sunday, it seems that they lit the grass at the base".
Hiking groups have been told to keep a safe distance from the area as emergency workers continue to fully extinguish the fire and prevent its spread.
The DC confirmed that among the deceased are four women, four men, and a child.
This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.