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Assam Rifles, IAF join efforts; Mizoram forest fires contained

Assam Rifles douse forest fires in Lunglei district of Mizoram on April 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The forest fires that have ravaged several parts of Lunglei district and the adjoining areas in Mizoram have been diffused, an Assam Rifles official said on Monday evening. All fires in the forest areas in and around the district have been controlled, the official added.

The Assam Rifles had deployed personnel and firefighting equipment to Lunglei district in Mizoram, while the Indian Air Force (IAF) had pressed in two Mi-17V5 helicopters, equipped with Bambi Buckets, to douse the flames after several parts of the district and the adjoining areas were engulfed by forest fires, which had also spread to populated areas.

“The fires have been diffused and situation is under control,” an Assam Rifles official said.

The fires in the residential areas were brought under control in the morning, while the forest fires continued, the official said. Later, the helicopter carried out two sorties in the day and aerial firefighting was carried out using a Bambi Bucket with a capacity to hold approximately 5,000 litres of water, the official added.

Assam Rifles and locals douse forest fires in Lunglei district of Mizoram on April 26, 2021.

Assam Rifles and locals douse forest fires in Lunglei district of Mizoram on April 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“There is wide-spread fire in Southern part of Mizoram. In Lawngtlai district, 14 houses have been burnt down in S. Bungtlang village,” Joseph Lalhmingthanga, Assistant General Secretary of Central Young Lai Association, a local non-governmental organisation told The Hindu.

The cause of fire is unknown but is believed to be due to dry season with no rain yet, he stated adding local youth from NGO were doing their best to keep the fire away from the village areas.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga and took stock of the situation. “Assured all possible support from the Centre in overcoming this crisis. We all pray for the safety and well being of the people of Mizoram,” Mr. Modi said on twitter.

Mr. Zoramthanga tweeted on Sunday evening that numerous wildfires in different parts of Mizoram had razed several settlements across the State. “No casualties reported as of the moment,” he had stated.

The fire broke out on April 24 in the general area of Veng College in Lunglei and spread towards Serkawn and Zotlang areas. Two parties under Assistant Commandant Narayan Sangroula, along with firefighting equipment, and a medical team under RMO Capt. V.K. Dabas, along with an ambulance, were sent to provide assistance to the locals, the Assam Rifles said.

The areas most effected were Bazar Veng, Serkawn, Zotlang and Chanmari Ramthar areas, an Assam Rifles official said. While Lunglei district was the most affected, the forests fires had also spread to certain surrounding districts.

On the morning on April 25, the fire further extended to the Lunglei main town and towards the residential area of Zotlang, following which one more party of the Assam Rifles was sent to the affected area.

“Thereafter, the fire was controlled by the firefighters, Assam Rifles troops and locals,” the statement said, adding that the fire extended towards the Chanmari area and the forest area below on Sunday afternoon. The Assam Rifles Commandant attended the district-level disaster management meeting at the District Collector’s office to coordinate the efforts.


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 9:31:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mizoram-battles-forest-fires-assam-rifles-iaf-join-efforts/article34415689.ece

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