Aizawl: The Mizoram Police has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the forest fire, which broke out in the state’s southern district following a case being registered in connection with the incident, a senior police officer said on Wednesday.

Mizoram Inspector of General Police (Headquarters), John Neihlaia said that a special investigation team headed by a Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Lunglei district has been formed on Tuesday to probe into the wildfire in Lunglei district as it was suspected to be a man-made disaster.

A case has been registered in connection with the incident that destroyed vast tracts of land and vegetation, he said.

Lunglei district Superintendent of Police (SP) Rex Zarzoliana Vanchhawng said that the team has already launched an investigation and no suspect has been detained till Wednesday.

He said that the forest fire, which broke out on Saturday on the outskirt of Lunglei town has been doused with the help of local volunteers and after Indian Air Force (AIF) launched a Bambi operation on the raging areas.

According to officials, forest fires have broken out in nearly 70 areas in five districts since last week, and the flames are more or less under control now.

No human casualty or major injuries were reported so far, they said.

Also read: 450 fire incidents reported in Mizoram since 2019

The AIF chopper carried out a Bambi operation on the raging fire at Phawngpui Tlang, the highest peak in Mizoram, located in the state’s southernmost Lawngtlai district on Wednesday, they said.

The operation will continue on Thursday depending on the fire condition, they added.

Serchhip district deputy commissioner Kumar Abishek said that the blaze in his district is more or less under control now after the AIF chopper carried out Bambi operations in the raging areas for two days- Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Though the forest fire damaged vast tracts of land in several places, the good news is that there is no loss of life. Apart from the AIF, local volunteers have done commendable jobs to douse the fire,” he said, adding that they will again call in the AIF chopper if need be.

Hnahthial district deputy commissioner H. Dolianbuaia said that the forest fire in the district is under control and all settlements and village are out of danger now.

The forest fire, which has spread to Lunglei town on Sunday has prompted the state government to seek help from the Centre.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured all possible help to Mizoram in tackling the forest fire crisis and prayed for the wellbeing of the people.

According to a satellite data assessment by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), there were as many as 2,671 forest fire points in the state between April 20 and 26, with over 400 points on Monday alone.

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