A fire at the picturesque Dzukou valley, as seen from Kohima Credit: Merentoshi R Jamir

A massive fire broke out at the picturesque Dzukou valley in Nagaland’s Kohima district late on Tuesday, forcing the state disaster management authority to work towards dousing the fire with the help of Air Force choppers.

The Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority confirmed the incident, even as the cause of fire and extent of damage are yet to be ascertained. The department has, however, requisitioned IAF choppers to help douse the fire.

According to sources in the area, the fire has already engulfed the Dzukou valley viewpoint, and is likely to reach the main valley, considering the strong winds and dry season.

Volunteers of the Southern Angami Youth Association (SAYO), an organisation at the forefront of protecting the valley, will visit the valley early on Wednesday to assess the damage and cause of fire.

Dzukou, situated about 30 km from Kohima, is also a sanctuary for endangered tragopans and other species of birds and animals.

Earlier in November 2018, a major fire had damaged a portion of the picturesque Dzukou valley. It was contained by the SAYO volunteers.

Another devastating fire in 2006 had wiped out a 20-km stretch of Southern Dzukou, when the state government was compelled to draft an SOS to the Centre for logistical help like choppers.

This is a developing story.

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