Dilip Kumar

Baripada (Mayurbhanj): The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) on Sunday cancelled leaves of all forest staff under the division even as fresh reports of fire incidents have been reported from over 20 points under Udala, Dujura, Bangiriposi, Rasgovindpur ranges closed to Similipal biosphere reserve in the district.

Leaves of all the staff under Baripada division have been cancelled for indefinite period, DFO Santosh Joshi said adding that 100 more personnel have been engaged on contractual basis in the fire fighting operation.

He warned the miscreants of immediate arrest if anyone is found to have set forests on fire. Joshi appealed to locals to conserve forests and refrain from lilting the dry leafs in the forest.

Expressing concern over the raging forest fire, the queen and princess of erstwhile Mayurbhanj royal family- Rasmi Rajyalaxmi Bhanjadeo and daughter Akshita also pitched in to douse the flames at Tangadhua, Raipal and Badampur villages under Bangiriposhi range in Mayurbhanj district. The queen also discussed with local villagers and made them aware about the wildfire.

Meanwhile, a man has been arrested caught while litting dry plants and leafs at Dudhiani forest near Karanjia in Mayurbhanj district. He has been arrested and is being questioned regarding involvements of others.