KAUSHIK DUTTA, Bankura: A massive fire has engulfed the famed 1,470 feet high Susunia hills of Bankura district. The fire broke out on Tuesday, but till Wednesday, the forest department and the firefighters were still battling the blaze.
Susunia hills is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The area is also rich in wildlife and it is feared that many of them have perished in the blaze. So have some rare plants and trees.
“We are trying our level best to control the fire. The firefighters are also on the job. But we are yet to get a grip on the situation. “We are yet to ascertain how the fire started,” said Sujit Kumar Singha, the forest beat officer in Susunia.
“The Susunia forests are rich in medicinal plants and wild animals. We fear that many of them have perished,” said Jaydeb Chandra, district secretary of Vigyan Mancha.
Susunia hill, located in the Chatna block of Bankura district, is a part of the Chhotonagpur Platue. The hill is also known for the rock face where mountaineers are trained. The hill is also an archaeological and fossil site. The hills also contain some rare stone cravings.
According to locals, they have first noticed smoke on top of the hill on Tuesday morning, but ignored it. By afternoon they could see flames leaping out of the forest.
The locals promptly informed the police. On Tuesday, fire tenders were sent to the stop but failed to control the fire. On Wednesday, when the fire spread to more areas, more firefighters were sent up the hills.