Uttarakhand: IAF chopper pressed into service to douse forest fire in Almora | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand: IAF chopper pressed into service to douse forest fire in Almora

Jun 14, 2024 04:40 PM IST

Four Uttarakhand forest department personnel were killed and four others injured while trying to control a forest fire in the Binsar wildlife sanctuary area on Thursday

Dehradun: An Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi17 chopper was pressed into service to douse the forest fires in Almora in Uttarakhand, which occurred on Thursday afternoon, officials said. 

IAF Mi17 V5 helicopter dousing fire at the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand on Friday (Twitter/ video screengrab)
IAF Mi17 V5 helicopter dousing fire at the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand on Friday (Twitter/ video screengrab)

“IAF Mi17 V5 helicopters leapt into action today taking off from Sarsawa at first light to undertake Bambi Bucket ops to extinguish the blazing fires in Almora district,” the IAF shared on X.

According to officials, the state government on Thursday requested the help of IAF to douse the uncontrollable fire at the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary at Almora.

Almora divisional forest officer Deepak Singh said the IAF chopper was pressed into action on Friday to collect water from Bhimtal using a Bambi bucket to douse the forest fire in Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Almora. “They carried out two sorties… It takes one and a half hours to carry one sortie considering the distance between Bhimtal and the forest fire spot in Almora. The operation will rebegin at 4:30pm”.

“We have requested the IAF for more choppers. The NDRF [National Disaster Response Force] and SDRF [State Disaster Response Force] have also reached the spot. The situation is under control,” he added.

Four Uttarakhand forest department personnel were killed and four others injured while trying to control a forest fire in the Binsar wildlife sanctuary area on Thursday.

The deaths took the toll from forest fires in the state to 10 this year, said government officials, underlining the scale of a problem exacerbated by the unrelenting heat and a rain shortfall.

The four deceased were identified as Dewan Ram (35), a daily wage worker with the forest department, Karan Arya (21), a fire-watcher, Trilok Mehta (56), the forest beat officer of Binsar Range, and Puran Singh (52), who worked with the Prantiya Rakshak Dal (PRD).

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami condoled the incident and announced a compensation of Rs.10 lakh for the kin of the four deceased and ordered that the injured people be airlifted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh for treatment.

According to Nishant Verma, additional principal chief conservator of forests and state nodal officer for forest fires, the state has reported 1,220 forest fires between November 1 last year and June 13. 

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