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Mizoram seeks IAF’s help to control major wildfire

The Mizoram government has sought the help of the Indian Air Force to control a major wildfire that has affected an area of 20 sq. km in Lunglei district.

“The IAF is deploying two Mi-17V5 helicopters, equipped with Bambi buckets, on the requisition of the Mizoram government for dousing the fire in Lunglei district and adjoining areas,” Shillong-based Defence spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said on Sunday.

‘People not affected’

Deputy Commissioner Koluthungan A. said the fire broke out on Saturday. “It is spreading fast due to wind and temperature, suddenly flaring up from time to time. We are using all local resources to contain it,” he said, adding that the fire had not entered any human settlement.

But locals said the fire had reached the outskirts of district headquarters Lunglei, threatening the town’s Chanmari area.

Probe ordered

District officials said an investigation has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the inferno.

Villagers in the hill States of the northeast usually burn jungles at this time of the year for jhum or slash-and-burn cultivation. Some fires get out of control.

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