"The Kerala Chief Secretary and Chairman of State Disaster Management authority issued directions on Monday that trekking to the hills should be stopped until all fire lines are cleared," said Kerala's Principal Chief Conservator of Forest PK Kesavan.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) was pressed into action by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman after reports of the forest fire surfaced.
On Monday morning, 16 commandos of the Garud Commando Force and four choppers from the IAF, with one of them at standby, arrived here to commence the search and rescue operation.
As many as 27 people have been rescued, out of which ten suffered minor injuries while eight sustained serious injuries. (ANI)