Nashik: A fire broke out at the Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary in Niphad tehsil of the district, a forest official said on Tuesday.

About four hectares of grassland was gutted in the blaze that occurred on Sunday afternoon. However, the birds were not affected as most of them had already migrated since this is not their nesting time, range forest officer K M Ahire said.

Forest officials with the help of locals managed to control the fire in 5 to 6 hours, he said.

Several species of migratory birds come to the sanctuary between November and February, attracting a large number of nature lovers and bird watchers.

"The drought situation this summer following inadequate rainfall during the last monsoon has caused severe water scarcity for people as well as animals in the district," Ahire said.