DFOs to be held responsible for forest fire in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: With reports of forest fire in some parts of Odisha posing threat to the flora and fauna, the Forest department on Wednesday issued specific guidelines to bring down the incidence.

Talking to media persons, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Wildlife, Sidhant Das, said as per the new guidelines, the Divisional Forest Officers (DFO) would be held responsible for the outbreak of fire in the forest resulting in the large scale death of wild animal and loss of forest cover.

“As per precautionary measure, instructions have been given to the DFOs to create water bodies inside the forest to prevent fire from spreading further. The concerned DFO would be held responsible he he/she fails to take any attempt to douse fire,” Das pointed out.

He further said as per the guidelines, emphasis is given for deployment of more fire squads in the forest, use of Global Positioning System (GPS) and satellite imagery to trace the source and place of fire in the forest.

Reports from Dhenkanal said fire has hit Matharagadi forest range and the forest areas in Kamakhyanagar forest range in the district.

Asked about the fire, Dhenkanal DFO Pradip Kumar Sahu said there is no fire inside the forest.

“The Forest department conducts control burning as part of its fire line maintenance in which the Forest staffs collect dry leaves and woods from the forest boundary area and set them on fire to ensure that fire does not spread inside the forest,” he added.

Notably, a major fire had hit Kuldiha sanctuary in Nilagiri area in Balasore district a week ago while fire had hit Chandaka Elephant sanctuary on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar last month.

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