Erode: A fire broke out in the Kermalam reserve forest in the Sathyamangalam tiger reserve (STR) destroying about 300 acres of forest land.

Forest officials are working towards dousing the fire, but it is believed to last two days, they said.

Forest officers said that the flames have engulfed the area between Asanur and Kermalam.

It is believed that the fire broke out at Gethesal first and will soon spread to Mavallam and Kottarai villages in the Kermalam reserve forest.

Trees and many herbal plants have been destroyed while electric polls and live wires have been damaged.

15 hamlets located nearby have no power supply and are unsure of when the wires will be fixed on order to receive electricity.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board has assured that damaged poles will be replaced.

The details of how much has been destroyed and to what extent can only be ascertained after a couple of days. 

The forest department has closed all roads leading to the forest leaving dozens of hamlets isolated. 

Forest officials said that vehicles will be allowed via Kermalam only after dousing the fire completely.

Reason for fire is yet to be ascertained. However, it is believed to be due to the the prevailing drought conditions and rising temperature. 

On February 20, a major forest fire broke out in Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, which continued to rage for at least four days after it was first spotted. The fire reportedly destroyed over 2,000-3,000 hectares of forest land. Forest officials, fire service personnel and at least 400 volunteers were involved in putting out the fire. The IAF too lent a hand at dousing the fire with two choppers pouring water from a nearby damn on to the fire.

The fire at Bandipur was allegedly set by villagers to drive out tigers.