Manipur: Dzuko Valley wildfire brought under control

09 January 2021

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INDIA – In a major relief, the wildfire at Dzuko valley range at Manipur-Nagaland border for nearly two weeks has been finally brought under control.

The Dzuko valley wildfire reportedly started on December 29 and has engulfed a large area of the valley both in Nagaland and Manipur. In Manipur, the fire had completely destroyed the vegetations of Mt Iso, the highest peak in the state.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Saturday said that fire was brought under control in almost all the areas on Manipur side.

To contain the fire, Manipur Government pressed into action as many as 200 firefighters, NDRF, SDRF, state police, villagers of Mao and four IAF helicopters equipped with bambi bucket. Two base camps had been opened to accommodate firefighters.

Singh said engineers of Manipur Police Housing Corporation Ltd. had been deputed at the area to conduct a survey for the construction of a guest house. In addition to this, the state is planning to set up a police outpost and construct a trekking route, he added. Singh further informed that Manipur PHED Minister L. Dikho is regularly visiting the area to supervise all the matters related to Dzuko. Officials of Tourism and Art and Culture Departments had also been instructed to visit Maopungdong village to inspect whether another guest house can be constructed there, he said.

In Nagaland, reports said that no active fire was detected till Friday except for smokes in three different locations with low intensity and no fire. Two of the three locations were doused physically the same day. The third location was reportedly inaccessible due to its rugged terrain. However, authorities said that they will continue to carry out operations using IAF helicopters.

On Friday, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio chaired a joint meeting with top bureaucrats, DGP, Civil bodies to discuss matter relating to land issues and measure to control wildfire that has devastated area in and around “Dzukou” valley and Kezoltsa forest.

According to DIPR Nagaland, representatives of civil bodies put forward many issues, including the need for a suitable water body close to the “Dzukou” Valley for aiding firefighting efforts.

The Chief Minister felt that the departments concerned should start looking into this matter seriously and come up with a proper plan in this direction, said the DIPR.

The Chief Minister also mentioned that from now onwards various agencies in the State which are dealing with fire related incidents should work out a proper plan to handle wild forest fires and such plans should include incorporation of both traditional and modern methods, the DIPR added.

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