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No loss of life in the Similipal National Park fire: Odisha govt
However, Additional Chief Secretary Department of Forests and Environment, Dr Mona Sharma informed that the blaze has been brought under control.
Massive fires have engulfed a larger part of the Simlipal Tiger Reserves in Odisha. The wildfires broke out nearly 10 days ago in the biosphere reserve situated in the Mayurbhanj district of the state. The state government is trying to bring the wildfires under control and are taking all necessary steps to avert any loss of life and major effect on biodiversity.
According to media reports, the fire is spreading from one part to another in the national park. The wildfire has so far gutted 8 out of the 21 ranges of the Simlipal forest division. The fire has spread to Anandapur, Khandachira and Balinal hills in the southern part of the reserve. The wildfires have also reached Mituani and Kendumundi forests under the Thakurmunda range of the reserve.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government has claimed that there was no loss of life in the Similipal National Park fire, which has been raging for around a week and continues to rage the forest area. The statement came after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the fire situation at the biosphere reserve.
Union Environment, forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar had also sought a report on the devastating fire at the Park, one of the major biospheres in the country. CM Patnaik instructed officials to be vigilant and take all precautionary measures to combat the forest fire. The Chief Minister said that "Shimlipal is not only a treasure trove of Odisha or India but also an invaluable asset of the whole world".
However, Additional Chief Secretary Department of Forests and Environment, Dr Mona Sharma informed that the blaze has been brought under control. Sharma said that no casualties were reported so far and standard operating procedures have been issued to control the fire and no major trees have been damaged.
About Similipal Biosphere Reserve:
The Similipal Biosphere Reserve is a national park and a tiger reserve located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. The Similipal derives its name from the Simul (Silk Cotton) tree, which is one of the dominant tree species present in the Similipal National Park. The Similipal National Park, comprising 5,569 sq km, was also declared a biosphere reserve by the Government of India in 1994 and UNESCO in 2009.
The biosphere reserve is home to around 94 species of orchids and 3,000 species of plants. The Similipal is also the abode of 347 fauna species, which includes 12 species of amphibians, 29 species of reptiles, 264 species of birds and 42 species of mammals.