Aerial survey done to ensure that nofire exists in forests

Officials of the Defence Crisis Management on Friday claimed that the wild fire that ravaged thousands of hectares of Tirumala forests on the Seshachalam ranges has been successfully saturated.

According to wing commander A.S. Parandekar (Task Force commander of the operation) the operation was called off in the evening after making sure through an aerial survey that no fire existed in the forests.

A recce was carried out in the late hours on Wednesday night (March 19) to have a first-hand assessment of the situation vis-à-vis the extent of fire, altitude in the close vicinity of the fire affected areas, and the location of water bodies besides taking stock of other relevant factors.

The modern C-130 and Mi-17 V5 helicopters with Russian-made Bambi buckets were deployed to reach the otherwise inaccessible forest areas during the two-day operation which began on Thursday afternoon.

The choppers ventured in 20 sorties and roughly sprayed about 30,000 litres of water to douse the spreading fire.

Even though the bushfire to a large extent was brought under control by Thursday evening, officials resumed the operation as early as 8.30 a.m. on Friday morning to meet any kind of eventuality.