BARIPADA: Panic gripped the residents of Tanakasahi and its nearby villages under Udala range of Baripada territorial division after fire was reported from Tanakasahi reserve forest on Saturday.Locals expressed concern over the cause of fire in the forest despite forest officials patrolling the area. They said the inferno engulfed more than three acre of the reserve forest.
Though sal and other large trees survived, smaller plants of the forest were completely reduced to ashes in the mishap. On being informed, forest and fire personnel from Udala reached the spot and doused the flames with the help of air blower machines. Divisional forest officer Santosh Joshi said the cause of fire is yet to be ascertained. “The fire has been extinguished and further investigation into the incident is underway,” he added. Meanwhile, Kaptipada police detained a person for allegedly attempting to set a nearby forest on fire. He is being interrogated.