SATRE: The Forest areas covering Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary at Satrem village in Sattari has been burning for the past four days, with the authorities concerned failing to bring the situation under control.
The wildfire has gutted several medicinal and age-old trees in the sanctuary area, which is in a dense forest. While no clarity exists on how such a massive fire broke out, locals claim that some unknown miscreants set the fire.
The Valpoi fire station received a phone sound at 6.00pm on Sunday, though their fire has raged since Saturday.
Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane said he has given directions to the acting APCCF Saurabh Kumar & Deputy Conservator of Forest to ensure that the situation is controlled.
“We need to ensure the forest is protected, if need be, they have been instructed to take help of North Goa collector & Fire Services to control the fire,” Rane tweeted.
The Forest department is directed to report the latest fire development to the government on priority.
Range forest officer of the Mhadei region, Geerish Bailudkar, said that the fire broke out in the bushes on Saturday evening on Deepaji Rane’ gadh’ (hillock) in the forest area in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a protected area.
He said that the fire soon spread towards the deep forest.
A team of 15 officials, along with locals and fire personnel, are on site and are also helping us put out the fire at one side of the ‘gadh’. Firefighters are doing their best to control the blaze,” he said.
The locals claim that the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in Satrem is inaccessible and the raging fire can only be extinguished with the help of helicopters.
According to villagers, the unknown persons have set fire to the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary. The locals said they contacted the Valpoi Fire Brigade and informed the Valpoi Forest officials but failed to douse the raging fire that spread to the village hill at Satre Gad.
The locals claim that the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary in Satrem is inaccessible and the raging fire can only be extinguished with the help of helicopters. They accused the Forest Department of not initiating any action despite informing them.