Mizoram battles forest fires; Assam Rifles, IAF join efforts

“Fire is under control near the residential Areas. However, still increasing in the valley below Chanmari,” Assam Rifles said in a statement.

Assam Rifles has deployed personnel and fire fighting equipment in Lunglei district of Mizoram while Indian Air Force (IAF) has pressed in two MI-17 helicopters to douse flames after several parts of the district and adjoining areas were engulfed by forest fires which have also spread to populated areas.

“Fire is under control near the residential Areas. However, still increasing in the valley below Chanmari,” Assam Rifles said in a statement.

On the requisition of the State Government, the IAF has deployed two Mi-17-V5 helicopters equipped with Bambi Bucket to douse the fire in Lunglei district and adjoining areas. In the morning, a recce was carried out over the affected areas and later the Mi-17 helicopters commenced fire fighting operations at Lunglei, a local defence spokesperson said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga 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,” Mr. Modi said on twitter.

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


Mr. Zoramthanga tweeted on Sunday evening that numerous wildfires in different parts of Mizoram 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 the entire fire fighting equipment and a medical team under RMO Capt VK Dabas along with the ambulance were sent to provide assistance to locals and help them in this fire fight, Assam Rifles said.

The areas most effected are Bazar Veng, Serkawn, Zotlang, Chanmari Ramthar areas, one Assam Rifles official said. While Lunglei district was the most effect, the forests fores have also spread to some surrounding districts.

On April morning, the fire further extended to Lunglei main town towards residential area of Zotlang following which one more party of Assam Rifles was sent to the affected area. “Thereafter the fire was controlled by the fire fighters, Assam Rifles troops and locals,” the statement said adding on Sunday afternoon the fire extended towards the Chanmari area and the forest area below. Assam Rifles Commandant attended the district level disaster management meeting at district collector’s office to coordinate the efforts.

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