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Manipur deploys two helicopters to fight wildfire in Dzukou Valley

Photograph of NDRF team at Guwahati, boarding an aircraft with requiredfire-fighting equipment on January 1.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Manipur government pressed into service from Saturday two helicopters to help firefighters and local volunteers extinguish the raging wildfire in Dzukou Valley located along the Nagaland-Manipur border.

On Friday, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren made an aerial survey of the fast spreading fire.

Defence spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said from Shillong that an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter was deployed on Friday for the firefighting mission at Dzukou Valley near Kohima. A C-130J Hercules aircraft of the IAF airlifted nine tonne load, including 48 National Disaster Relief Force personnel, from Guwahati to Dimapur on Friday night. After an assessment of the extent of the fire, the IAF would deploy three more helicopters equipped with Bambi Bucket.

Smoke billowfrom Dzukou Valley on Manipur-Nagaland border.

Smoke billowfrom Dzukou Valley on Manipur-Nagaland border.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement


Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured the Manipur government all possible help in controlling the fire.

After the aerial survey on Friday, Mr. Biren said the wildfire was spreading towards Mao, the border town of Manipur. He thanked Mr. Shah for assuring all possible help. He also appreciated the work of the government firefighters and local volunteers of Mao in bringing the wildfire under control.

However, the wildfire was spreading in the western side, officials said. More government personnel would be pressed into service.

Officials said there was no human casualty. However, wildlife activists say that many wild animals could have been killed or captured while fleeing.

Local sources said that the some persons might have deliberately started the wildfire for personal gains.

Tribals burn down forest areas for hunting the terrified wild animals and doing shifting cultivation. There are some disputes between Manipur and Nagaland which also lays claim to the valley.

(With inputs from Rahul Karmakar)

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 11:02:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/manipur-deploys-two-helicopters-to-fight-wildfire-in-dzukou-valley/article33477821.ece

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