Raging Forest Fires Forcing Wild Animals To Stray Into Human Settlements In
March 13, 2023
Forest fires at different locations in the state are causing immense damage
to Odisha’s flora and fauna. What is worse is that in many places wild
animals are being driven to human settlements owing to these forest fires.
According to reports, a fire has been raging in the Kuldiha forest for the
last 10 days but the Forest department staff is unable to douse it for want
of manpower and sophisticated equipment. As a result, wild animals from the
forest are straying into nearby human settlements triggering panic and
Incapable of bearing the intense heat of the forest fire, elephants,
reptiles and other wild animals are reportedly straying from Kuldiha into
Telipal village. On Sunday, people sighted an elephant close to a fringe
village in the Nilagiri area.
In another incident, locals spotted a wild elephant on Sikharchandi hills
near Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Although it could not be ascertained as to
where the elephant came from, it is believed that the pachyderm strayed
from the nearby Chandaka forest. It is likely that the elephant strayed
from its herd owing to wildfire on the hills and is unable to return to its
Locals first spotted the elephant on March 11 night and the Forest
department officials had tried to drive away the animal after dousing the
fire on Sikharchandi hills.
It is worth mentioning here that a recent survey showed that Odisha topped
the states vis-à-vis incidents of forest fires in the country this year.
Meanwhile, Odisha Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Debidutta
Biswal said that the incidents of forest fires have declined from 2200 last
month to around 1500-1600 on Monday owing to rains in some places. He
added, “We have over 97 per cent response system and our firefighters
extinguish forest fires as soon as they are informed.”
According to Biswal, most forest fires are set by poachers who light fires
to hunt animals. In addition, fires are set by forest inhabitants to
collect mahua flowers and due to smoking inside the forests. “We are trying
to create awareness regarding forest fires among the people and have
launched a campaign to make people living inside forest areas and adjoining
forests about the devastation causes by such blazes,” he added.