Asia's second-largest biosphere Simlipal is on fire.

According to reports, the tiger reserve in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha has been on fire for over a week.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has ordered officers to take immediate action and submit a report.

This after several people drew the ministry's attention to the disaster unfolding in Mayurbhanj through social media.

Local reports suggest that hundreds of hectares of forest land have been lost to the fire and wild animals have been crossing over into human habitats to protect themselves.

Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik said that the information coming from Similipal is extremely disturbing. 

The scale of fire is massive and if the govt does not try to combat it, Odisha's forest cover may never be the same again, he said.

The Simlipal sanctuary is spread over 21 forest ranges under five forest divisions. The fire has reportedly been spreading in seven patches of Chandanchaturi, Digdiga, Dukura, Podadiha, Thakurmunda, Barehipani and Astakuan forest ranges.

Representative image used