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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Andhra Police, Army, IAF continue to fight Tirumala blaze

PTI  Hyderabad, March 20, 2014
First Published: 22:47 IST(20/3/2014) | Last Updated: 22:48 IST(20/3/2014)

Two days after a wildfire broke out in Tirumala forest ranges, the Andhra Pradesh police and fire brigade personnel, ably assisted by the Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF), are battling the blaze amid fears that winds could intensify the inferno.

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Two IAF choppers joined the fire fighting operation on Thursday, in the interiors of the Tirumala forest ranges in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.

"The access to areas on fire is still tough. Fire tenders are finding it difficult to reach these areas. Since morning, two IAF choppers conducted 16 trips carrying 3,000 litres of water during each trip. Compared to Tuesday and yesterday, the intensity of the fire has come down. Today, the intensity of the blaze has been brought down," director general (AP fire services) Sambasiva Rao told PTI.

"May be if there is more wind, then it (fire) might erupt again," the DG said, adding that from tomorrow onwards, the number of trips will go up to at least 30.

"It (the fire) is nowhere near human habitation. There is nothing to worry about and no reason for panic," he said.

Thousands of hectares of forest land have been reduced to ashes in the devastating fire that began on Tuesday afternoon,sources said.


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