India — Dimapur – It is that time of the year when winds are at their busiest, so are the fire-brigades. Wednesday was one such day as two incidents of fire occurred in and around Dimapur during afternoon, keeping fire personnel on their toes. This time it was not human dwellings catching fire but plantation fires. The first one occurred in a small teak plantation site located inside the compound of the Nagaland Mini Tool Room & Training Centre (NMTTC), near the 24th Assam Rifles firing range alongside NH-39 towards Diphu. The cause of the fire is not known. Residents said that it must have been the result of lighted cigarette or bidi stubs thrown away carelessly. The site was dumped with saw-dust making it good ground for fire to erupt. Requiring the help of three fire-trucks, the fire was brought under control before it could claim any serious damage. Barely a few seconds after the fire was doused, fire personnel had to respond to another emergency along the Assam-Nagaland border towards Diphu some 2-3 kilometers away from the first one. It was a bushfire which was veering dangerously close towards Rilan village, bordering with Karbi-Anglong. According to the villagers, human interference must have caused the bushfire, aided by the winds. It started around 12:00 pm. A major part of the fire was in the Assam side but with the wind blowing eastwards, fire-fighters had no choice but to contain it. The hilly terrain compounded by the blazes erupting in patches made it impossible for the fire-trucks to reach in further. The firefighters were compelled to take it head-on armed with only small branches of trees. It worked wonders although with the fire-fighters resorting to stamping the fire, literally. It was finally brought under control after nearly four hours. The blaze affected an area of land, covered by a thick overgrowth of hedge plants, of about 10 acres in size. The land was once covered by dense forest but owing to unrestricted felling of trees it was reduced to no more than bush-land making it vulnerable to combustion. The villagers surmised that people going to the forest to collect firewood or out hunting must have built a fire and carelessly forgot to douse it afterwards. Almost all villages have their own set of rules against persons causing jungle fires, Rilan village also has its own. One village council member however said that it is not an easy task to keep a check on it. Moreover, the affected part of land falls under a disputed area. The blaze was eventually put out but there is no telling when the next one will erupt. The dry, half-burnt remains of the hedge plants will make it even more susceptible to similar occurrence in future.