Air Force chopper engaged in fire in forest of Manipur-Nagaland border

From Bhupen Goswami 

Guwahathi: The massive forest fire in the Dazuco range on the Manipur-Nagaland border is yet to be contained. Indian Air Force helicopters have been deployed to extinguish the fire. An attempt was also made to extinguish the fire with the C-130 J Hercules aircraft on Saturday night. At the same time, 58 employees of NDRF are engaged in extinguishing the fire. Air Force 3 is going to use helicopters to control the fire. Indian Air Force helicopters today resumed Bambi Bucket operations to prevent fire in Djuku Valley near Kohima. Four Mi-17 helicopters have been deployed at Dimapur and Rangapahar for work.

A senior National Disaster Response Force official said in Guwahati today that the fire in Djuko Valley of Nagaland has reached jungle call koziri in Manipur. To extinguish the fire that broke out last Tuesday, the Indian Air Force sent a helicopter Mi-17V5 equipped with bambi bucket two days ago. On Saturday, the Air Force has sent 4 more helicopters that are continuously spraying water from the Bambi bucket in the valley when the fire does not stop spreading. Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had sought assistance from Union Home Minister Amit Shah on which NDRF team has been airlifted to Dzuko Valley this morning by airlift air transport aircraft C-130J Hercules.

In Nagaland, a fire broke out on Tuesday in the Dzuco Valley under Kohima district, causing the natural beauty to be burnt in flames. The beautiful natural surroundings of the valley, seasonal flowers and natural wild vegetation of different species have been attracting tourists immensely. Thousands of tourists visit the Juco Valley located in the border area of Nagaland and Manipur every year. The cause of the horrific fire on Tuesday has not been ascertained. In the year 2018 also, there was a catastrophic fire, which caused a lot of damage to the valley.

Nagaland State Disaster Department seeks help from Indian Air Force to extinguish fire. The helicopter Mi-17V5, equipped with Bambi bucket, was dispatched from the Air Force’s Eastern Air Command headquarters on Thursday morning to extinguish the fire in the Djuko Valley near Kohima. The Manipur Chief Minister also conducted an aerial survey taking serious note of the Djuco Valley fire in the valley on Thursday morning. After the aerial survey, he said the fire has spread to a great extent and caused serious damage on this part of the mountain range. He said, the valley fire has already crossed the highest peak in Manipur. When the wind flows in the southern direction, the fire has now reached the densest forest call kozri in Manipur. He says the wildfire in the valley is now very dangerous and needs immediate attention before spreading towards the mount. However, with the efforts of the fire service, forest department, the fire in the Dzuco Valley could not enter the urban areas but the chief Minister sought NDRF assistance from Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

On the demand of the Chief Minister, 48 members of NDRF team have been airlifted from Guwahati to Dimapur this morning with 9 tonnes of material from Air Force transport aircraft C-130 J Hercules to Dzukco Valley. The Air Force has also today dispatched 4 more helicopters after assessing the extent of the fire which is continuously spraying water from the Bambi bucket in the valley. NDRF team members are running their operations on the ground. The Chief Minister has sought help from the concerned authorities to stop the spread of fire and save the deep forest portion of the valley. However, union Home Minister Amit Shah has taken cognizance of the forest fire in the Djuto range. The home minister spoke on the phone to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and assured help. Union Home Minister Amit Shah phoned and informed about the situation in the jungles of Djuto Valley. Chief Minister N Biren Singh said amit Shah ji has assured to provide all necessary assistance to control the situation at the earliest.

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