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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Close on the heels of raging fire in Similipal National Park which has become a major cause of concern, another wildfire was reported from Khandagiri hills in Bhubaneswar.

According to sources, the fire at the hill, a popular tourist destination, began at 5 pm today. The blaze reportedly spread to about five acres of the forest.

On being informed, fire fighters rushed to the spot and launched a massive operation to douse the flame. Six fire fighters struggled for two hours and brought the blaze under control.

According to the Forest Survey of India (FSI), apart from the forest fire in Simlipal, Asia’s second-largest biosphere reserve, 394 other forest areas in Odisha are also under the grip of fire.

As per the FSI, forest fire has been reported from 395 places including Similipal in the past three days posing a massive threat to wildlife species, medicinal plants and the environment at large.

However, Odisha PCCF Shashi Paul said, “The fire situation in Simlipal National Park is quite normal, though a perception has been made about how the fire has gone wild in the second largest biosphere reserve in the State. The situation has never gone out of control and the fire points have been limited to the periphery of the national park. The core is intact and safe.”

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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