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Centre deploys MI -17 helicopters to douse fire in Uttarakhand forest

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Nainital (Uttarakhand) : The Centre has deployed two MI-17 helicopters to douse the forest blaze in Uttarakhand.

More than 1,900 hectares of forest land have been affected by the fire in the Kumaoun and Garwal region.

“Two helicopters were sent by the Indian Air Force. One has been sent in Gorakhal Sainik School and another one in Pouri, Srinagar. The speciality of the helicopter is it can take 5,000 litre of water from any source of water, be it pond or river and can drop it anywhere,” Wing Commander V.K. Singh, operation in-charge, Airforce told ANI.

“Our mission is to carry water from Bhimtal to places where fire is burning. There is a huge area covering the flames. We will maintain a distance of 100 metre from the fire to douse the flames,” he added.

The fire raged yesterday even as three teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed in Almora, Gauchar and Pauri and one team of the State Disaster Response Fund in Nainital to extinguish the flames.

Two Air Force helicopters have been rushed into service to fight the fire in Pauri and Nanital districts.

Forest areas of Almora, Chamoli, Pouri, Rudra Prayag and Pithora districts have been badly affected by the fire.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Governor K.K. Paul yesterday and assured him of providing all necessary assistance to control the fire.

The Governor has directed all District Magistrates of the affected districts to make full use of available resources to douse the fire.

The Nainital High court has also expressed concern and directed to control the fire in the shortest possible time.

Since the beginning of forest fire incidents in the state in early February this year, 922 incidents have occurred so far killing six people including three women and a child and blighting nearly 2,000 hectares of green cover. (ANI)

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