BHUBANESWAR: A day after fire services personnel, forest department staff and local volunteers managed to control the fire which gripped the forest on Rukhi hill near Nayagarh town, two slopes of the hill were engulfed in a blaze on Saturday.
Sources said the fire broke out on the southern and western sides of the forest. Three teams of fire services and forest department were engaged to douse the fire. Several trees, which provided a green cover to Nayagarh town, were destroyed in the fire on both days. The fire triggered panic among locals as trees on the Rukhi hill gave relief from the heat wave condition.
Forest atop the hill is an home to wild animals like mouse dear, boar and hare. Locals and officials of the district administration raised concern over safety of wildlife in the forest. Till Saturday evening, the firefighters did not trace any carcasses of animals, who, forest officials said, would have shifted to a safer side of the hill.
“At present, three teams are deployed on duty while we have requested the authorities concerned to send two additional teams. On Friday, the fire was brought under control but we suspect miscreants started the fire in a forest near Muktapur village,” Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Suresh Chandra Hota said.