Even as the fire in the Similipal forest is yet to be fully controlled, a forest fire has been reported from Balangir district.
According to the Forest Survey of India fire alerts issued daily, around 350 fire points are detected in the Balangir Forest Division by satellite tracking. Forest official are on their toes to rise to the occasion. The department is constrained by shortage of ground-level staffs to deal with the situation. It has become common for locals to witness forest fires in Mathkhai, Chandali and nearby forests and mountains at Ghat along the Balangir-Patnagarh road since last week. Trees in the Balangir forest shed their leaves by the month of February. The fallen leaves serve as a major cause of aggravating forest fire further.The burnt forest surface tells a tale. On Saturday night, there was a major fire in the aforesaid area, said a local, who frequently visits Patnagarh.
After the outbreak of forest fire, it is birds which suffer a lot as their habitats are gutted or damaged and they cannot stay in smoky environment. They are seen flying over there trying to escape from heat and smoke, but only to die.
Nobody knows how many eco-friendly reptiles, animals, birds, insects die during the forest fires as their habitats are engulfed by huge fires from all sides leaving them no space to escape. On Sunday morning, smoke billowing out from the forests could be visible from roadside.
There were reports of fire in the Matkhai forest and its spread quickly towards top making it difficult to douse it. “We are doing our best to check the fire,” said a forest official, who was fighting fire atop the hill. “The fire will be contained soon,” he added.