The ongoing wildfire at the famous Shirui Peak has extensively damaged the habitat of the Shirui Lily, according to the people involved in rescue efforts.
Speaking with EastMojo, Nickson Wungsek, a local, said that the rains on Tuesday morning helped douse the fire to some extent. However, due to thick forest and difficult terrain, some portions of the peak couldn’t be penetrated by rains, and the forest fire continued to rage in some portions, he said.
Fire-fighting teams comprising forest department officials, police, Assam Rifles personnel, NDRF, SDRF, locals and volunteers from neighbouring villages have continued on war footing to douse the fire on the sixth day.
On Monday, the Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed two helicopters equipped with Bambi Buckets to douse the fire, however, the work couldn’t continue the next day due to the visibility issue caused by rain.
With 50 per cent of the peak’s habitat already destroyed by the forest fire, environmentalists and locals are now concerned about the flora and fauna damaged by the fire.
Shirui Lily or Lilium Mackliniae, the state flower of Manipur, is a rare bell-shaped flower with bluish-pink petals and blooms on the hilltop during the month of May-June. The exotic flower is categorised as an endangered species, and there are now fears that the latest fire will further hamper conservation efforts.
Located at a distance of 18 km from the district headquarters and over 90 km from Imphal, Shirui peak lies 2,835m above the sea level.