Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: In a novel initiative, newly appointed Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) in Odisha-- Sisir Kumar Ratho on Sunday said that interested students may be imparted training to control forest fires in near future.

Considering the concern and interest of the students about the prevailing outbreak of wildfires in the State, the decision could be taken, said Ratho.

"After taking charge as the PCCF, my main priority will be to control the forest fire incidences. We have to make sure that wildfires don't prevail much in the future," he added.

According to forest department sources, interested students could be given exposure and necessary skill training after which they could be engaged in controlling forest fires.

Meanwhile, an employee tasked with forest fire fighting activity was charred to death while dousing wildfire in village forest near Kendujuani in Thakurmunda Forest Range.

The deceased identified as Jadumani Mahanta working as a nursery watcher for the last one year was trying to douse the blaze which had broken out in the nearby area.

Family members of Jadumani have alleged that he died due to the fire. Forest officials have assured that his family members will be provided compensation as per the prevailing norms of the government.

Police have said that the reason behind his death will be clear from his post mortem reports which are still awaited from a scientific team.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)