India — For the first time in its history, the Indian Air Force deployed helicopters on Tuesday to help douse a fire that has been raging at Nagaland’s second highest peak, Mount Japfu, about 3000 metres above sea level, since Friday.
An MI 17 V5 helicopter equipped with fire fighting equipment carried out five sorties throughout Tuesday and in each sortie, 2.5 tonnes of water was lifted and sprayed over two fire points of about one-kilometer radium.
The operation was made more difficult by strong winds with speed of up to 45 kilometres an hour that have also been fanning the flames. Mount Japfu is located in the picturesque southern Angami region of Kohima district.
Hundreds of fire fighters, state police personnel, army and Assam Rifles officers and men as well as voluntary organizations have been fighting the fire that is feared to have destroyed large swathes of forests and wildlife.
This is one of the biggest forest fires in the country in recent memory.