TODAY -

Dzuko wildfire rages on, over 200 acres scorched
Source: The Sangai Express / DIPR

Imphal, January 02 2021: Efforts to extinguish the wildfire which has been raging in the mountain ranges of Dzuko in Senapati district continued for the fourth day today.

Meanwhile, the State Government has decided to station a team of Manipur State Armed Police on the way to Mount Iso and Dzuko Valley.

Chief Minister N Biren and his Nagaland counterpart Neiphiu Rio talked over telephone about the wildfire today.

The two Chief Ministers also discussed about carrying out a joint survey of the inter-State boundary at Dzuko Valley area.

Another combined team consisting of 59 personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 35 personnel of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), 32 personnel of Manipur Fire Service and Manipur Police personnel made another attempt to prevent the fire from spreading to the southern side of Mount Iso (Tenipu) range.



Dzuko wildfire rages on, over 200 acres scorched
Dzuko wildfire rages on, over 200 acres scorched


Two Indian Air Force Mi-17 V5 helicopters were also deployed to spray water.

Till 1 pm, the two helicopters had completed eight sorties together.

Later in the afternoon, it was reported that one more helicopter was pressed into action.

Another helicopter is expected to join the operation later.

On the other hand, taking serious note of the inferno which originated from Nagaland side of Dzuko Valley and is rapidly spreading across Mount Iso, the highest peak of Manipur, Chief Secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar presided a high level meeting today and decided to station a team of Manipur State Armed Police at Dzuko Valley.

Sources informed that State armed police would be stationed at Dzuko so as to avoid any kind of hindrance to the fire fighting efforts.

A joint team of Senapati district police, members of the Mao Council, Mao Students' Union and Song Song villagers led by Senapati DC Th Kirankumar was blocked by volunteers of Southern Angami People's Organisation (SAPO) as they went to make a field assessment of the inferno and the devastation it wreaked so far.

The SAPO volunteers backed off only after they were told by the Senapati DC that his team was there to assess the damages caused by the inferno and their visit had nothing to do with the land dispute, sources informed.

There is a deep apprehension that the inferno currently raging through Mount Iso would spread to Yangkhullen and Willong villages, if it is not contained or extinguished at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Public Health Engineering Minister Losii Dikho who is currently camping at Mao to supervise the operation, chaired another round of joint meeting with the representatives of Senapati district administration, police, NDRF, SDRF and Fire Service to review the situation today.

During the meeting, it was decided that a base camp would be set up in the eastern side of Mount Iso range.

Tents for the base camp will be provided by the Deputy Commissioner of Senapati district and it will be transported using vehicles of district police.

It was reported on January 1 that after a thorough analysis of the nature of the wildfire and the landscape of the region, a combined team of Senapati district police, fire service and local volunteers cleared a stretch of around half kilometre of forest vegetation in between the third and the second mountains of Mount Iso range.

The team successfully prevented spread of the fire towards the eastern side by using sand and fire extinguisher.

However, the inferno still continued on the southern and western sides and more than 200 acres of Mount Iso range had already been reduced to cinders.

It may be mentioned that the wildfire started on December 29 .

The next day, a team of officials of Mao police, Forest Department and local volunteers from Mao areas numbering around 130 went for spot verification and also to prevent spread of the fire.

However, it was hard to extinguish the fire as it was spreading fast due to the windy condition.

In the early morning of December 31, a team of Manipur Police led by three Additional SPs along with Fire Service officials led by a Joint Director and local volunteers numbering around 150 under the overall supervision of Senapati SP went to the spot to stop its further spread.

The team faced difficulties to prevent spread of fire due to steep slope and speedy wind.

It may be mentioned that Chief Minister N Biren Singh along with Chief Secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar and DGP LM Khaute had also undertaken an aerial survey of the area to take stock of the situation on December 31 .


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