Mizoram Wildfire: Raging for over 40 Hrs; PM Responds to CM Zoramthanga
GUWAHATI: Lunglei, the capital town of Lunglei district in southern Mizoram has been currently in the grip of an unprecedented forest fire that was reported to have started at around 7 am on April 24 on the outskirts of the town.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga and took stock of the situation arising due to forest fires in parts of the state. The PM assured all possible support from the Centre in overcoming this crisis.
“We all pray for the safety and wellbeing of the people of Mizoram”: tweeted the PM.
The Indian Air Force (AIF) helicopters have already begun the Bambi bucket operation in the area to douse the fire. A detailed plan of action was charted out, with the district authority deciding on seeking the help of the Indian Air Force in containing the fire
The fire was mainly concentrated in uninhabited forest areas surrounding the town and has spread to more than 10 village council areas within the town. In some localities such as Zotlang, Serkawn, Chanmari, the fire reached some buildings but could be contained and doused before it caused any major loss to property. No loss of human life has yet been reported due to the wildfire, said the Mizoram government in an official statement.
Though hundreds of volunteers have stepped up in different locations across Lunglei town, the raging fire has not been contained even after a non-stop effort of more than 42 hours. Dry vegetation due to drought conditions, coupled with strong winds, has made the mission extremely challenging, and the unfriendly terrain of the area also poses a very serious risk and hindrance for the firefighters.
Apart from local volunteers, the Assam Rifles and Border Security Force (BSF) have also stepped out with their men and equipment, and are actively participating in the firefighting efforts. Private water tankers have also voluntarily deployed their vehicles for firefighting.
According to Lunglei Additional DC Pu M Misael, the concerned authorities were investigating who or what caused the fire. There were certain reasons to believe that the fire was manmade.
The Fire & Emergency Services Department in Lunglei District has only 13 staff and 2 fire tender vehicles at their disposal. The Mizoram government has detailed two more fire tender vehicles and seven additional men to assist the team at Lunglei.