Rain Brings Fire At Odisha’s Bio Reserve Under Control

The Odisha government on Friday stated that the fire in the Similipal biosphere reserve is now under control.

An official statement released by the office of the principal chief conservator of forests, Odisha, stated that as per the Forest Survey of India (FSI) forest fire alert, the state has registered 700 fire alerts today with only 9 fire alerts in Similipal as against 1,048 forest alerts yesterday and the fire situation in State is under control now.

The statement further said that parts of the state, including Similipal, has experienced rains on Thursday, which would be congenial in stopping any further spread of fire in the state.

The Government is making an all-out effort for mitigation and management of forest fire in the state, said the statement.

As per the statement, the government has asked all field officials to be on full alert to prevent any proliferation of fire in the field given the prevailing hot weather conditions in the state, conduct intensive night patrolling and promptly respond to the fire alerts.

The statement further informed that the daily forest fire points generated using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite data received from FSI by Forest IT and Geomatic Centre (FITGC) are being made available real-time up to beat level.

Forest staff after navigating to fire points and dousing fire are uploading the info with photos in Odisha Forest Monitoring System (OFMS), said the statement.

According to the release, till now more than 95 per cent of all these fire points are addressed in the field and a 24X7 Forest Fire Cell in Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF)/ Principal Chief Conservator of Forests- wildlife (PCCF WL) and all divisional forest officers (DFOs) is functioning.

The statement further informed that the leave of all forest field staff has been cancelled by the Government and the manpower and infrastructure engaged in forest fire mitigation is enhanced with more fire watchers and almost doubling of leaf blowers.

The statement also said that the DFOs have been directed to enhance community engagement with the assistance of the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) and Self-Help Groups.

A series of meetings for awareness among local communities involving 2718 VSS have been conducted and incentives to about 3,000 VSS for their active role in the control of fire has been provided, it said.

As per the statement, eight Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams with 25 members are dousing forest fire along with forest staff all over the state.

Subrat Mohapatra and Amit Mallik, two members from the Government of India are camping inside Similipal Forest and after their return from the field, the necessary further step will be decided in consultation with them, said the statement.

Continuous personal monitoring/ review of prevailing fire situation with field officials by Government/ Task Force is being taken up for forest fire mitigation in the State, it added.

The Similipal National Park fire had been raging for around two weeks now, according to a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) earlier this month.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had reviewed the fire situation at Similipal National Park a day after Union Minister Prakash Javadekar sought a report on the devastating fire at the Park, one of the major biospheres in the country. (ANI)

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