Fire in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony, spread over 3-4km, classified as ‘major’; cause not yet known

The fire broke out at 6.21pm on a hillock bordering MHADA colonies on one side and the forest on the other. It spread rapidly to areas near new Dindoshi Green Hill Society and the New MHADA Colony in Goregaon (East). By 8pm, the fire had intensified to Level 3.

mumbai Updated: Dec 04, 2018 11:46 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
aarey colony fire,Infinity IT Park fire,mumbai fire
A major fire erupted in the Aarey forest near Goregaon , The fire broke out behind Infinity IT Park in Mumbai, India, on Monday, December 3, 2018. (Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

A massive fire broke out behind Infinity IT Park in Goregaon (East), on near Aarey colony on Monday evening. Spreading rapidly over three to four kilometres, it blazed for over four hours. By 10.30pm, the fire been brought under control and cooling operations were underway. The Mumbai Fire Brigade has classified it as a Level 3 (major) fire and the cause of the fire is as yet unknown. No casualties were reported.

The fire broke out at 6.21pm on a hillock bordering MHADA colonies on one side and the forest on the other. It spread rapidly to areas near new Dindoshi Green Hill Society and the New MHADA Colony in Goregaon (East). By 8pm, the fire had intensified to Level 3. Chief fire officer P Rahangdale said, “When it originated, it was near the Film City area, but spread towards the city within three hours.” Four fire engines, three quick response vehicles and three jumbo tankers were pressed into action. As a precautionary measure, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) intimated all nearby police stations to evacuate tribals living in the surrounding forest area along with their livestock.

Fire fighting proved to be a challenge. “As with every forest fire, on a hillock, wind causes rapid spread of fire, hindering fire fighting operations,” said Rahangdale. Big pockets of fire had to be doused by fire fighters and fire beaters who had to approach the areas on foot since fire engines couldn’t make their way through the thickets. “The fire brigade is taking the help of forest security and volunteers with 100 beaters to prevent the fire from spreading into the forest or to the habitation nearby. But there is no access to the fire vehicles inside the forest,” said Rahangdale. Anwar Ahmed, director of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and chief conservator of forest, said he and his team had worked with the fire fighters to contain the fire.

Activist Zoru Bhathena said, “Although there might be no human casualties, but there might be a huge green cover loss. Also it is likely that there may be animals and birds stuck in the forest fire. The cause also needs to get investigated as it may be an attempt to encroach the land by later claiming it to be a barren land.” Aarey Colony is one of Mumbai’s biggest green lungs open to public.

First Published: Dec 04, 2018 09:00 IST