Wildfire ravages Dzukou valley; IAF chopper deployed

IAF chopper deployed as Nagaland-Manipur struggle to douse wildfire in Dzukou valley

The main viewpoint which is frequented by tourists has already been scorched in the fire

The fire was raging so much that it could be seen from Nagaland capital Kohima, situated about 30km away. Credit: Manipur Government

A chopper of Indian Air Force (IAF) equipped with bambi bucket was pressed into service on Thursday as disaster management personnel struggled to control the wildfire at Dzukou Valley, a picturesque tourist spot situated atop 2452-meter on Nagaland-Manipur border.

The fire broke out on Tuesday following which personnel of Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority swung into action but could not control it due to strong wind and difficult hilly terrain. Manipur also pressed its fire fighters into action to control the fire on its side of the border.

The fire was raging so much that it could be seen from Nagaland capital Kohima, about 30km away. Sources said the main viewpoint which is frequented by tourists has already been scorched in the fire.

"Based on the requisition by the State Government of Nagaland, the Eastern Air Command, IAF has launched a Mi-17V5 helicopter. The helicopter is  equipped with Bambi Bucket for fire fighting in Dzukou Valley near Kohima," spokesperson of eastern air command headquarters at Shillong, Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said in a statement on Thursday morning.

Dzukou valley is a popular tourist spot and is mostly famous for its seasonal flowers and bio-diversity. Thousands of tourists visit the valley to view the pink and purple flowering on the hills that also houses endangered tragopans and other species of birds and animals