Bhawanipatna: The fire in the Singari and Debgiri reserve forests in Angul district was continuing unabated as thousands of medicinal plants turn into cinders, sources said.
Although the Forest department had prior information about the fire breaking out still it slept on it, sources added.
Residents of the area were facing serious problems due to the rising summer temperatures and the consequential forest fires.
Reports said that many valuable trees for instance medicinal plants and some herbs had been destroyed in the fire.
Locals complained if the forest fire was not checked soon then it may force the wild animals enter human settlements leading to man-animal conflict.
Sources said the tribals of the area are mainly engaged in podu cultivation. They also cultivate crops like maize, ragi and millets. They clear the land with setting the trees on it on fire.
Sources said the government had tasked some organisations to explain the tribals about the associated disadvantages of podu farming. A fire brigade team was also engaged to prevent any untoward incidents however none of the precautionary measures has yielded any favourable outcome.