Balasore/Dhenkanal: Fire continues to raze in the two most important sanctuaries of the State – Kuldiha and Satkosia. The Kuldiha sanctuary is burning since the past three days gutting precious trees and threatening animal life in the forest. Similarly, various ranges of the Satkosia sanctuary have also caught fire.
In Kuldiha sanctuary in Balasore, the Sinduria and Deunchakhala hills caught fire three days ago. While the forest department, with the help of ‘Sabuja Bahini,’ has tried to bring the blaze under control, they have not been successful so far. The fire, which has already destroyed many medicinal plants, is now posing a serious threat to wild animals like elephant. Moreover, with scorching heat wave singeing the State, the forest fire has pushed the mercury upwards, making life all the more unbearable for the locals.
“Around 100 acres of forest land has caught fire. We are trying to extinguish it but the fire is spreading to other areas because of the wind,” said forest guard Bharti Singh.
"Because of the wind, we have not been able to control the fire as it is spreading to other areas," said another forest guard Anadi Mohanty.
Similarly, Pampasar, Purunakote, Tikarapara, Jilinda and other ranges of the Satkosia sanctuary in Dhenkanal, which is famous for its tigers, are on fire. In this case, poachers are suspected have set the fire. Forest officials are still trying to control the fire.
“This year’s fire has broken all records. With intense heat wave prevailing, the forest fire here has been severe this year,” said local resident Ashok Satpathy.
“We have deployed fire fighting squads at all places affected by fire. We have also deployed other squads of the Sanctuary like the anti-poaching squad. The foresters and forest guards along with the protection squad are rushing to the spot immediately after receiving reports and dousing the fire,” said the SPF of the Satkosia Wildlife division Suvendu Behera.