Karanjia: The Similipal forest in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha was seen engulfed by forest fire for the last few days. The Forest department personnel are working their best to douse the flames.
Despite several preventive measures to check forest fire, several parts of Similipal forest continued to be razed by the blaze, thereby endangering precious flora and fauna.
Similipal forest is spread in an area of 2,750 square kilometres. Eco-tourism has been organized in an area of 2,200 sq km. The Similipal sanctuary is home to 55 species of animals, 304 species of birds, 62 species of reptiles, 37 species of fish and 108 species of trees.
Keeping in mind the safety of the forest, Similipal in Mayurbhanj district has been divided into two parts. Two Deputy Directors have been posted in the forest range offices. However, the officials have failed to bring an end to the spread of fire in the sanctuary.
Many forests under Karanjia forest division are also under the blaze. Moreover, the blaze has also engulfed forests in Thakurmunda, Kendumundi, Naona, Gudagudia, Bareipani, Dudhiani, Satkosia and other parts.
Reports suggested the practice of collecting ‘mahua’ flower by tribal people is one of the major reasons behind the outbreak of the forest fires. Many claimed that hunters too are responsible for the fire who set fire at places of the jungle for poaching. Due to the fire, animals, reptiles and precious trees including medicinal plants are destroyed.
Forest officials are taking necessary steps to maintain the fire line.