Wildfire in Dzokou Valley: IAF sends helicopter to control wildfire

Wildfire in Dzokou Valley: IAF sends helicopter to control wildfire

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had sent a Mi-17V5 to tame the raging wildfire at Dzokou Valley which has been engulfed in a huge wildfire for the past 72 hours.

Kohima: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has engaged aa Mi-17V5 helicopter to tame the massive fire in Dzokou Valley, a popular trekking destination on the Manipur-Nagaland border.

A spokesperson of the Shillong headquartered Eastern Air Command said that the helicopter was launched on the basis of a requisition by the Nagaland government.

"The helicopter is equipped with Bambi Bucket for the fire-fighting in Dzukou Valley near Kohima," Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said on Thursday.

Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh had said, "Very unfortunate that a wildfire has started in the Dzokou Valley, one of the most beautiful places in Manipur. It probably started two-three days ago from the Nagaland side and crossed over to our side."

Rajkumar M, the Divisional Forest Officer of Kohima had said that the main valley was not on fire.

"A hillock near the main valley is and efforts are on to contain it with the help of the local youth," he said.

According to the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), however, the damages from the incident could not be ascertained.

The blazing fire in the valley was so huge that it even became visible from the state capital Kohima. Due to strong winds and the dry season, the fire is even expected to move further towards the main valley.

As per reports, volunteers of Southern Angami Youth Association (SAYO), a local organisation which is deeply engaged in the valley's protection visited the valley on Wednesday to assess the damages and the cause of the fire.

The massive had broken out late in the night on Tuesday and the flames started appearing in the Kohima sky around 2:30 pm.

Dzokou, about 30km from Kohima, is a sanctuary for the endangered Blyth's tragopan- Nagaland's State Bird- and other species of birds and animals.

Often caught in a boundary dispute between Manipur and Nagaland, the Dzokou Valley has been prone to wildfires. The last major incident was in 2006 when a 20km stretch of the southern part of Dzokou was affected and the government had to send SOS calls of help to the Central government for logistical aids like choppers.

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Sentinel Assam