Imphal: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday deployed two helicopters equipped with Bambi Buckets to douse the fire at Shirui Kashung Peak in Manipur’s Ukhrul district, as the forest fire continued for the fifth day.
This major fire incident comes months after a massive forest fire that had broken out at the Dzukou Valley, situated at the border of Manipur and Nagaland in the Senapati district.
“Dropping water from Indian Air Force chopper to douse the fire at Shirui and on the ground, our security personnel are trying to douse the wildfire,” wrote chief minister N Biren Singh on his Facebook page.
At the time of filing this report, the IAF helicopters had already covered three rounds around the peak for aerial fighting, and more would follow.
Earlier, CM Biren Singh had sought support from the Central government to control the raging forest fire that has claimed hundreds of endangered flora and fauna of the peak.
The fire broke out on March 25 at Chihuira, the base of the third and highest peak where the maximum number of the exotic Shirui Lily blooms.
Since then, locals along with police, security personnel and volunteers have been on war footing to douse the fire at the peak. However, attempts to prevent the fire failed due to the difficulty of the terrain and strong wind, it said.
So far, the cause is yet to be ascertained.
Shirui Peak, a major tourist spot in the hill town and home to a state flower ‘Shirui Lily’, lies 2,835m above sea level.
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