Sajanagad: Even as fires have been raging for the last six days in Kuldiha sanctuary in Balasore district, the forest department is leaving no stone unturned to bring the blaze under control.
Thousands of trees, plants, herbs and insects have been reduced to ashes over acres of forest land in various hills. Herbivores have been badly affected by the raging fires. They are pushed to dangers.
On the other hand, the atmospheric temperatures have risen exponentially on the foothill areas due to raging fires. Fires are reported from hills like Jodachua, Kuldiha, Devagiri, Nadari, Balianala and Panchalingeswar inside the sanctuary.
It is said that fires are spreading from one hill to another. No sooner did forest officials contain fire at one place, the blaze appears at another place. As fires are atop hills, firefighters find it difficult to reach higher terrains.
Squads have been formed to douse fires while DFO Biswaraj Panda and Kuldiha ranger Bijay Mohapatra have been monitoring the fire fighting exercise in the sanctuary. The DFO said all efforts are on to extinguish fires in the sanctuary.
A 30-member fire squad with fire tenders and over 50 forest officials are camping inside the sanctuary and are trying their level best to bring fires under control. Many locals were roped in this exercise.
Meanwhile, reports from Khaira said that people in Makhanpur panchayat under this block are panicked after hearing roaring of a leopard in the area. The people have lost their sleep over the leopard’s appearance.
About two months ago, a video went viral about a leopard wandering in Dularpur forest. The forest department had looked into the matter, but failed to trace the big cat.
“Now, leopard roaring is heard sometimes in the area,” said some villagers like Sandhyarani Nayak, Bhamamani Behera and Ratnakar Majhi. Ranger Babita Soren said as forest officials are engaged in the firefighting in Kuldiha, the matter will be looked into later.