Massive forest fire rages in Nainital, IAF deploys MI-17 choppers for dousing operations

Public TV English
Public TV English
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NAINITAL (Uttarakhand): A forest fire has been sweeping through the dense foliage in the mountains surrounding Nainital over the last 36 hours, an official said, adding that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has deployed its personnel and MI-17 choppers in a dousing operation in the area.

According to officials, the IAF choppers are lifting water from the nearby Bhimtal Lake in Nainital and spraying it in the area to contain and eventually put out the raging forest fire.

Rahul Anand, the executive officer of Nainital Nagar Palika, informed that after an aerial inspection that MI-17 choppers are jet-spraying on the affected areas amid the raging forest fire. “I carried out an aerial inspection and can confirm IAF choppers have been involved in firefighting operations in the affected forests since this morning”, Anand said.

However, despite the ongoing efforts of the forest department and the firefighting IAF personnel, the blaze has already consumed several hectares of the forested terrain, with the leaping flames yet to be brought under complete control.

According to the official, the IAF choppers conducted aerial surveys over Nainital, Bhimtal, and Sattal lakes, identifying suitable locations from where it could lift water for the dousing operation. The choppers, with sacks and buckets hanging by a rope from them, were spraying water over the affected forests surrounding Nainital, till last reports. Further updates are awaited.

Earlier, on Friday night, a massive fire broke out in the Ladiyakata area of the Nainital Air Force Centre. In addition to the chopper-based firefighting efforts, ground crews have been battling the fire in the Ladiyakata area of the Nainital Air Force Centre since Friday night.

Amid tireless efforts by the forest department and firefighting personnel, the army also joined the effort to contain the spreading flames. (ANI)

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