Mount Abu Fire: Army Joins hands with IAF to douse the fire

Mount Abu Fire: Army Joins hands with IAF to douse the fire

The devastating fire which broke out in about a dozen places in Mount Abu's Sirohi district three days ago subsided on Monday after help taken from Army and Indian Air Force. The forest fire swept the Mt Abu hills from three sides, favored by the gusty summer winds.

Braving the intense smoke and heat Army quells, forest fire in Mt Abu after Indian Air Force requested them to provide assistance in critical areas of Chipa Beri and Sat Ghum for combatting Fire near Police Station Chipaberi Beri and at Sunset Pt and Ganesh Temple to prevent spread of fire.

Defense Spokesperson Lt Col Manish Ojha said, "Two well-equipped columns of Indian Army comprising over 100 personnel from Konark Corps speedily brought the fire under control .At Sunset Point ,Chipa Beri, Saat Ghum View Point, strong winds were making the situation difficult. Army columns are still deployed to prevent the spread of fire. A concerted and determined operation by the Gorkhas, on war footing and coordinated along with the civil administration has kept the firewall at a safe distance from habitation in Mt Abu town."

The inferno that engulfed over 20 km of the hill station is now limited to only two spots near Aarna village and Gambhiri Nala, where the fire had spread on Friday evening.  "The army soldiers equipped with gas masks and fire fighting equipment, fighting all odds along with fire tenders and taking calculated risks have been able to keep the road open for traffic. But for the army the other critical areas of Sunset Point, Ganesh Temple, Chipa Beri, Saat Ghum Point, Arna village and the Arna Eco Tourism Site would have been engulfed in flames till now", Ojha added.

Sirohi District Collector Abhimanyu Kumar said that most of the blaze had been doused by Saturday and later a fresh fire which broke out due to heat in the dry bushes on Sunday. He told DH "As a precaution, the administration stopped the entry of tourist vehicles on Sunday afternoon as the fire advanced to the populated area fast. However soon after the fire came under control, traffic movement was restored. now tourists can easily visit the famous sun set point."

sunset point opened after 3 days
The fire was first spotted on Friday around 8 am, since then, Choppers of the IAF and Army played a crucial role in dousing the fire by undertaking Bambi Bucket operations. Even on Sunday two MI-17 V5 helicopters undertook about two dozen shuttles, showering over 60,000 litres of water on the fresh fire between Abu top and Abu Road.


Flora Fauna damaged
As per the officials forest fires have been a common phenomenon in Mount Abu during summer, but this was the first time it engulfed such a large area, spreading beyond control. According to an environmentalist,  "The fire has  wiped out a variety of herbs and caused irreparable damage to the flora and fauna, in the forest."

Mount Abu, 350 Kms from Jaipur , is the only hill station of Rajasthan. Also known as the 'Kashmir of desert ' it remains the preferred destination for honeymoon couples and tourists

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