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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: As per the Forest Survey of India (FSI) alerts information, there are no ongoing continuous fire at any point in the State as of now, said task force chief Sandeep Tripathi on Saturday.

“The number of proactive steps taken by the State Government to check and control forest fire in the State has led to total control in the forest fire situation in State,” Tripathi said.

“The FSI Dehradun has indicated 341 forest fire alerts in the State today with only 4 fire alerts fire in Similipal as against 701 forest alerts of yesterday and the Forest fire situation in State is contained,” he added.

The task force chief said the Similipal forest fire is now completely contained. As per the latest National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad report, the forest fire activities in Similipal are totally reduced.

He said the satellite based forest fire alert points received from FSI were generated using MODIS & SNPP satellite data and made available real time through auto generated SMS to the concerned field level up to beat Guard apart from WhatsApp and email. Forest Staffs have promptly attended to these points & about 95% of all these fire points are being addressed in the field.

The augmented manpower & infrastructure to mitigate prevailing fire situation is being effectively utilized in forest fire control in the field. The fire vigil in Vulnerable Areas & Fire Hotspots is further enhanced with deployment of more fire watchers and leaf blowers. The efforts for enhanced & sustained community mobilization to control fire with assistance of PRIs and Self Help Groups are continuing vigorously in the field.

The VSS/ EDCs/ JFMCs are being activated with series of awareness meetings for awareness among local communities. Further, the State Government has directed the DFOs to engage local community members in fire dousing on payments basis, wherever needed apart from providing Incentives and reward to local or VSS members for their active role in control of fire.

The 8 ODRAF teams with 25 members along with Fire Officials are being actively engaged in dousing forest fire along with forest staff.

Forest Department Additional Chief Secretary Mona Sharma visited the fire affected areas of Similipal on March 10 and 11 and interacted with local community and forest officials. She directed the staff to be in full vigil and for continuing enhanced community interaction with taking action for dousing of forest fire points.

The Central Team after their Similipal visit is now at Kuldiha WL sanctuary and the field officials are moving along with them to the fire affected areas.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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