Imphal, December 31 2020: A wildfire has been raging for the past few days in Dzuko range has engulfed a large area of the valley. The fire has already spread across 8 km. The numerous numbers of hillocks, mounds, gorges covered with flourishing vegetation have already been burnt down to ashes completely.
Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi visited Dzuko valley on Wednesday, a Raj Bhavan release issued on Thursday said. During his visit, Ravi had first-hand assessment of the intensity of the devastating fire in the trekking route to the valley and extent of the destruction, it said.
Absence of a functional Standard Operating Protocol to effectively respond to such a disaster has aggravated the situation, the release said.
Personnel of the forest department, fire, police and volunteers of Southern Angami Youth Organisation for the third day on Thursday tried to extinguish the wildfire in the scenic Dzukou range in Nagaland’s Kohima district, officials said. The Governor lauded the effort of the SAYO volunteers and the policemen who, in an extremely adverse ground condition, are battling the raging fire to contain it from further spreading.
Further, the Governor has urged the state government to immediately frame an appropriate SOP including satellite- based realt-time early warning system to prevent recurrence of such a disaster.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren also made an assessment of the fire raging at Dzuko Valley since the past couple of days from a helicopter this morning.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by MLAs RK Imo, L Susindro, Chief Secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar, DGP LM Khaute and Senapati DC Th Kirankumar.
The fire was still raging and thick columns of dark smoke could be seen from the air.
Whereas Manipur Public Health Minister L Dikho has been camping at Mao to keep a close tab on the inferno, a team of fire fighters moved from Imphal to Mao today. As it is very difficult to reach the area where the fire has been raging, any attempt to control the raging fire has been proving even more difficult.
The inferno which originated from the side of Nagaland has so far devastated four mountain ranges out of the seven ranges of Mount Iso.
Altogether 150 police personnel, 40 firemen and 40 local villagers have been deployed fight and bring the raging fire under control.
The Manipur Government has already requested the National Disaster Response Force to provide assistance in containing the situation and had also requisitioned Army and Assam Rifles to assist firefighters in extinguishing the wild fire.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister N Biren took to Twitter and tweeted, ‘Very unfortunate that a wild fire has started at Dzuko valley, one of the most beautiful places in Manipur.
It probably started about 2-3 days ago from the Nagaland side and crossed over to our side.
It is likely that the fire might even reach Mt Iso area today’ .
With inputs from Imphal Free Press