Lunglei the 26th April, 2021 – As the wildfire that erupted near Lunglei town in the early hours of Saturday (24th April, 2021) became even more ferocious by yesterday afternoon, to the extent that settlement areas in some parts of the town were in grave danger of being engulfed, the State Government had, yesterday, decided to seek the help of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in containing the fire. On the requisition of the State Government, the IAF deployed two Mi-17V5 helicopters equipped with Bambi Buckets to douse the major fire in Lunglei District and adjoining areas.
A scout helicopter that reached Kawmzawl helipad at 5:50 am this morning carried out a recce of the affected areas, after which the Mi-17V5 chopper reached Kawmzawl helipad at 12:05 in the afternoon. After another round of recce with Lunglei Deputy Commissioner Pu Kulothungan A and Addl DC Pu M Misael, the Bambi bucket operation commenced, with the chopper drawing water from Tuipui D River in the nearby Hnahthial District. Two rounds of aerial firefighting operations that continued till 4:22pm in the evening were carried out in the Zotlang area today.
The herculean firefighting operation in Lunglei town has been a collective effort of the Government, hundreds of citizen volunteers, NGO & community leaders and the paramilitary forces (Assam Rifles and BSF) stationed in Lunglei. The wildfire situation is now under control, with the Deputy Commissioner reporting that more than 90% of the fire in and around Lunglei town has been contained. There has been no loss of human life or major damage to property as a result of the fire.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke to Mizoram Chief Minister Pu Zoramthanga today, and took stock of the situation arising due to forest fires in parts of the state. “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,” the Prime Minister said on twitter.
Meanwhile, EF&CC Minister Pu TJ Lalnuntluanga, Dr. Vanlaltanpuia, MLA & Chairman MYC and Pu Lalrinsanga Ralte, MLA & Vice Chairman Rubber & Allied Crops Development Board visited Lunglei today to inspect the affected areas and to devise further course of action with the District authorities. After on ground inspection of affected localities, the Minister and his team held a meeting at the DC Conference Hall today.
According to Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Mizoram Pu Keyiekhrie Kire, Forest Survey of India (FSI) Satellite recorded a total of 427.88 hectares of fire-affected area in Lunglei till yesterday evening.
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