Bhubaneswar: Incidents of forest fire in several districts of Odisha have become a matter of concern for the Forest department.
The officials and employees of the department are facing a tough task to control the forest fire in districts like Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Koraput, Bargarh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Rayagada, Sundargarh, Kandhamal, Sambalpur, Gajapati, Ganjam, Angul, Deogarh, Khurda, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar, sources said.
Incidents of forest fire have also been reported from Champua division of Keonjhar, Similipal Tiger Reserve, Paikmala under Bargarh division and reserve forests in Brahmagiri area of Puri district, said an official of the Forest department.
“Our employees are working round-the-clock to control the forest fire. Several hectares of forests in several districts of Odisha have been destroyed by the inferno,” he added.
As many as 1,395 fire points in forests across Odisha were reported today. There were 1,380 fire points in the state yesterday, said the official.
As many as 295 fire points were reported from Koraput circle today while the number was 256 in Baripada circle, 203 in Berhampur circle, 185 in Bhawanipatna circle, 105 in Sambalpur circle, 97 in Angul circle and 53 in Bhubaneswar circle, added the official while quoting the data released by the Forest Survey of India.
Altogether 594 major fire points were reported from across the country today. The number was 158 in Odisha followed by 112 in Andhra Pradesh, 91 in Karnataka, 57 in Telangana and 45 in Chhattisgarh, sources said.
Most of the incidents of forest fire reported in Odisha are due to human activities, said a source in the Forest department.
The state government has launched a campaign to create awareness among people on forest fire. The government is urging people not to light fire in the forests, it added.
“Human activities are responsible for most of the incidents of forest fire in Odisha. We have contained the fire in 97 per cent cases in the state. Odisha has not witnessed rain since October last year. The prolonged dry weather is aggravating the situation. As many as 16,000 Vana Surakhya Samitis and 280 special squads have been engaged to deal with forest inferno in the state. The members of women self-help groups have been roped in to create awareness on the issue,” said PCCF Debidutta Biswal.