Odisha: 28 fire points doused in Similipal Tiger Reserve amid heatwave

Efforts were concentrated on extinguishing flames and fortifying fire lines across various sections of the reserve, the officer informed.
Forest staff dousing flames in Similipal Tiger Reserve.
Forest staff dousing flames in Similipal Tiger Reserve. (Photo | Express)

BARIPADA: The Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR), one of India’s largest national parks, witnessed widespread fire raging for 24 hours on Wednesday at 28 locations, fuelled by the relentless heat wave gripping the region.

However, immediate action by park authorities, on receiving satellite alerts of the extensive fire outbreak, helped contain the situation effectively.

Regional chief conservator of forests (RCCF) and field director of the STR, Prakash Chand Gogineni, said that satellite surveys identified fires erupting in 28 locations within the park. Forest personnel, including fire squads, foresters, and protection assistants, along with teams from the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, were deployed to combat the blazes.

Efforts were concentrated on extinguishing flames and fortifying fire lines across various sections of the reserve, the officer informed.

“Fire outbreaks were reported across different divisions of the reserve, including Baripada, Rairangpur, Karanjia, and Keonjhar. While the cause of the fires remains unconfirmed, officials speculate that the intense heat wave may have played a role, facilitating the rapid spread of flames across the reserve,” informed Gogineni.

The fast response from forest authorities helped mitigate the impact of the fire, preventing extensive damage to the biodiversity-rich ecosystem of the STR, the officer stated.

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