The Simlipal Forest Fire
The Simlipal forest reserve area frequently witnesses forest fires during dry weather conditions.
- According to the Regional Conservator of Forests Simlipal, Maloth Mohan, a total of 399 fire points have been identified in the fringe areas bordering the forest, close to the villages.
- Natural causes such as lighting or even soaring temperatures can sometimes result in these fires, but forest officials and activists say most of the fires can be attributed to man-made factors
- with dried leaves and tree trunks, even a spark can lead to a raging fire.
- Such fires are generally brought under control by natural rains.
- Forecasting fire-prone days and including community members to mitigate incidents of fire, creating fire lines, clearing sites of dried biomass, and crackdown on poachers are some of the methods to prevent fires.
- The forest fire lines which are strips kept clear of vegetation, help break the forest into compartments to prevent fires from spreading.
- This year, the forest department intensified its mitigation measures and formed a squad each for 21 ranges across the five divisions to closely monitor the situation. 1,000 personnel, 250 forest guards were pressed into action. 40 fire tenders and 240 blower machines were used to contain the blaze.
- Awareness programmes are also being initiated at a community level to prevent such incidents.
Simlipal Biosphere reserve
- Similipal, which derives its name from ‘Simul’ (silk cotton) tree, is a national park and a tiger reserve situated in the northern part of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district. Similipal and the adjoining areas, comprising 5,569 sq km, was declared a biosphere reserve by the Government of India on June 22, 1994, and lies in the eastern end of the eastern ghat.
- Similipal is the abode of 94 species of orchids and about 3,000 species of plants.
- The identified species of fauna include 12 species of amphibians, 29 species of reptiles, 264 species of birds and 42 species of mammals, all of which collectively highlight the biodiversity richness of Similipal. Sal is a dominant tree species.
Source : Indian Express