Konark: A wind-fueled grass fire burnt eight acres of Beladala forest under Balukhand range in a matter of hours along Puri-Konark marine drive. The inferno spread rapidly through the region before it was finally doused by fire personnel Wednesday evening.
Locals of Balukhand area spotted the fire and soon informed the forest personnel who reached the spot and doused the flames. Jhaun (casuarina) plantation in around seven to eight acres of forest under Zone XIII was damaged in the blaze.
“We received information from some locals about the fire. Swinging into action, a team of forest and fire services personnel including members of Beleswarpatna Gramya Jungle Committee launched a massive operation and managed to bring the flames under control after striving for an hour,” the Balukhand ranger Benudhar Behera said.
Actual cause as to how the blaze originated has not been ascertained yet. Some miscreants might have dropped burning cigar butts on the dry leaves scattered in Beladala forest leading to the inferno, sources said. Some suspected it was caused due to the wind.
“As many as three fire tenders and eight tractors were engaged in the fire-dousing operation. The blaze has now been brought under control. However, the personnel were instructed to guard the forest at night to ensure that the wildfire would not revive,” the ranger stated.