Poongodu forest station watcher KU Divakaran (L) and temporary watcher AK Velayudhan died during a bid to douse the wildfire. (Photo: India Today)
A major wildfire in Vadakkanchery forest range in Thrissur district of Kerala killed two forest watchers on Sunday.
According to the Vadakkanchery Police, forest watchers -- KU Divakaran (43) and AK Velayudhan (54) -- were trapped in the wildfire Sunday afternoon when they were trying to douse the fire that had spread at the HNL plantation. Another worker was rushed to hospital with burn injuries.
Wildfire has been ravaging the forest range since February 15 and the forest department has deployed watchers and guards to check the fire from spreading to other areas.
According to forest department official, fire and rescue teams were deployed on the spot to check wildfire spreading to villages nearby.
Kerala Forest Minister K Raju expressed his condolences after the tragic incident.
"The department has allotted preliminary monetary assistance to the families of the deceased. Compensation for the families of the deceased and the injured will be decided soon," the minister said in a statement.
The press release also said the plantation was taken under lease by the HNL group.
"It appears that lack of precautions to stop wildfires have caused the accident," the release said, adding that fire responder vehicles from the district were trying to douse the fire which had engulfed the area.
(With inputs from PTI)