INDIA – 05 Feb, Gangtok : A major forest fire broke out at Tinjurey Ridge on 4th February 2017 above Nampong village area within Fambanglho Wildlife Sanctuary. The fire was clearly visible from capital.
A team consisting of forest, police, civil rescue and fire service officials together with the local panchayat, eco-development committee, joint forest management committee members and villagers reached the spot early in the morning on Sunday 5th February and commenced fire fighting operations and creation of fire lines.
As the ridge where the fire broke out is mostly inaccessible cliff terrain, the Black Cat Division and Indian Air Force helicopters were pressed into service on the request of the State Government to air drop water on the fire.
About 18 sorties were carried out by the helicopters equipped with water buckets. As the fire front could not be brought under control completely, fire fighting operations will continue tomorrow.
Drought like conditions prevalent within the State have rendered forest areas vulnerable to forest fires. The Forest, Environment & Wildlife Management Department appeals to the public in general and villagers residing close to forest areas all over the State to avoid going into forest areas for picnicking, camping or any other purpose with inflammable materials.