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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Amidst concerns expressed over the wildfire which has engulfed a large portion of Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj district and other parts of the State, the Odisha government on Tuesday directed officials to intensify night patrolling to contain the fire.

Apart from this, the State government has decided to deploy extra manpower and machines to bring the blaze under control, informed Task Force Chairman Sandeep Tripathy today.

According to Tripathy, Odisha Chief Secretary today reviewed the incidents of frequent forest fire with district collectors and SPs and forest department officials. The Chief Secretary has directed officials to intensify night patrolling.

The State government has also directed concerned district-level functionaries for an all-out effort to combat the forest fire and prevent further proliferation by intensifying night patrolling and attending to fire alerts promptly.

“In order to tackle the situation in more effective way, the State Government has decided to engage more man power and equipment. It has been decided to put additional 100 squads, beyond 600 different squads. Each squad comprises 10 persons and a vehicle. Besides, additional 700 blowers are being procured to put in to work,” said Tripathy.

Further, it has been decided to incentivise 3000 Forest Fringe Villages to take action to prevent occurrence of forest fire and prevent its proliferation by involving VSSs/EDCs to contain the menace. In addition to that the PRI institutions have been urged upon to mobilise their human resource to sensitise the forest fringe localities to prevent intentional and unintentional fire.

“Due to continuous and quick action of field staff, the number of Fire points have shown considerable decrease as Fire Alerts have come down to 3258 on 08.03.2021 from 6258 on March 7. More than 95% of fire points located have been abated/attended during last 24 hours of reporting. NO damage to wildlife or human has been reported by the field staff,” Tripathy added

(Edited By Ramakant Biswas)

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