Forest Fires

Forest fire in Simlipal Biosphere Reserve


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Simlipal BR

Mains level: Forest fires and their prevention

The Simlipal forest reserve area frequently witnesses forest fires during dry weather conditions.

Try this PYQ:

Q.From the ecological point of view, which one of the following assumes importance in being a good link between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats?

(a) Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

(b) Nallamala Forest

(c) Nagarhole National Park

(d) Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve

Simlipal Biosphere Reserve

  • Similipal, which derives its name from the ‘Simul’ (silk cotton) tree, is a national park and a tiger reserve situated in the northern part of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district.
  • Similipal and the adjoining areas, comprising 5,569 sq km, was declared a biosphere reserve by the Government of India on June 22, 1994, and lies in the eastern end of the eastern ghat.
  • It includes three protected areas — Similipal Tiger Reserve, Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary with 191.06 km2 (73.77 sq mi) and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It is the abode of 94 species of orchids and about 3,000 species of plants.
  • The identified species of fauna include 12 species of amphibians, 29 species of reptiles, 264 species of birds and 42 species of mammals, all of which collectively highlight the biodiversity richness of Similipal.
  • Sal is a dominant tree species.

How fire-prone is Simlipal forest?

  • Generally, with the onset of summers and towards the end of autumn, the forest area remains vulnerable to forest fires.
  • They are a recurrent annual phenomenon but are also brought under control due to the short span of precipitation.
  • This duration coincides with the shedding of deciduous forests in the forest areas.
  • The fallen leaves are more vulnerable to catching fire and facilitate the spreading of these forest fires quickly over the entire forest area.

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