Tags: India, Odisha

Surge in forest fire incidents across Odisha amid heatwave

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Key details of the Odisha forest fire surge

With temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius across Odisha, a significant rise in forest fires has been recorded.

The Forest Survey of India data from Saturday revealed approximately 1,400 new wildfire points, marking a considerable increase in such incidents.

Notably, the most affected areas include Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Balangir, Bargarh, and Kandhamal.

A significant number of these fires, around 117, were identified in the Baripada circle, part of which encompasses the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR).

Fires were detected in multiple locations within the Similipal reserve forest and the surrounding Mayurbhanj reserve forest.

Response and resources mobilised for firefighting

In response to the surge, forest officials highlighted that fire protection squads have addressed nearly all the reported fire points.

The department has deployed substantial resources to combat the fires, including 370 fire protection squads and 330 fire fighting vehicles.

Additionally, about 4,800 blower machines have been distributed at the field level to enhance the firefighting capabilities during the ongoing forest fire season.

According to the officials: “The number of large fire points also increased significantly, rising from 107 to 127 within just 24 hours.

‚ÄúThis rapid increase necessitated immediate response and the comprehensive mobilisation of our firefighting resources.”

IFSJ comment

The recent escalation in forest fire incidents in Odisha serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by extreme weather conditions and their impact on natural environments.

The proactive measures taken by the Forest department, including the extensive deployment of fire protection squads and firefighting equipment, reflect a robust response to the crisis.

However, these events underscore the need for continued vigilance and preparedness to address the recurring threat of wildfires, particularly in the context of rising temperatures and climate change.

This situation highlights the ongoing need for strategic planning and resource allocation to mitigate the impact of such environmental challenges effectively.

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