MI-17 helicopters return from Uttarakhand due to thick fog

Rudraprayag: A fire that broke out in forests near Rudraprayag of Uttarakhand on April 30, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

The Indian Air Force’s MI-17 helicopters which were being used to douse the blighting fire in the hill stations of Uttarakhand, returned due to thick fog and lack of visibility. Earlier, the Central Government has given the nod to use Indian Air Force’s MI-17 helicopters to douse the fire in the worst-hit parts of Bhimtal and Pauri in Uttarakhand. As the fire destroyed nearly 3000 Acres of forest and claimed 7 lives, the NDRF, SDRF and Army personals are trying hard to bring the situation under the control in 19, 000 hectors of land in Uttarakhand.

The fire started on February 2 has destroyed 1890.79 hectors of land and a totals number of 922 fire incidents have been reported in the area. According to the sources, around 6,000 army personnel have been deployed in the region for the rescue operations.
This time, Chamoli, Pauri, Rudraprayag, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Almora, Pithoragarh and Nainital are the worst-hit areas of fire. Raj Bhawan officials said in Dehradun that the enough amount of fund has been raised for the rescue operations.

With forest fires still raging, three NDRF teams have been deployed in Almora, Gauchar and Pauri and one team of SDRF inRudraprayag forest division is also taking help from the army for firefighting operations especially along the highway,  officials said.

The casualties due to forest fires, which have spread to sparsely populated remote hill areas, have risen to six with another life claimed in Nainital district on Friday evening. The deceased include three women and a child.