COLOMBO (NewsRadio); A total of 16 youth have been arrested over a forest fire within the Ella Forest Reserve.
The group is accused of starting a fire which destroyed an area of around 15 acres within the reserve.
The Police Media Division said area residents had detained them after the incident and had handed over to Police.
Arrested individuals, ages between 16 and 22 are residents of Badulla, Hali-Ela and Namunukula.
The fire has been doused with the support of officials of the Disaster Management Centre and the Department of Wildlife Conservation, officers of the Reserve, Police personnel and area residents.
Those arrested are scheduled to be produce before the Bandarawela Magistrate today.
The Ella Police is conducting further investigations.