Massive forest fires have broken out in several parts of Mizoram State damaging vast tracts of land and vegetation on 25 April. No human casualty has, however, been reported so far. The Indian Air Force deployed two helicopters to douse the blaze at Lunglei and surrounding areas.
Lunglei is the worst affected and the state government will probe the cause of the forest fire as it is suspected to be man-made. At least three other districts apart from Lunglei - namely Serchhip, Lawngtlai and Hnahthial are affected by the forest blaze and firemen have been deployed at several incident sites. The forest fire broke out in at least eight forest areas near Serchhips Chanmari Veng locality, Chhiahtlang and North Vanlaiphai. Forest fire incidents have also been reported at Darzo and South Vanlaiphai forest areas in the Hnahthial district.
The firemen are being assisted by Assam Rifles and Border Security Force personnel and local volunteers. Some settlements or villages are now secured and forest fires have been put under control in some areas but several other settlements are still vulnerable.
Earlier, another massive forest fire broke at Saisih forest area in the outskirts of Lunglei town between 6 am and 7 am on Saturday. It spread to Lunglei town on Sunday. Though the blaze is mainly on in the uninhabited forest area surrounding the town, it has spread to more than 10 village council areas within it.
The fire is under control in the settlement areas but some village councils are vulnerable as the fire is still burning in their surrounding areas. The DC said that dry vegetation due to scanty rainfall coupled with strong winds has made the flames very strong. Police said that the forest fire has also broken out in surrounding areas in Mizorams southernmost Lawngtlai district, bordering Myanmar.
At least 12 houses were gutted at Bungtlang South village in the district by the fire, which was spread from the forest on Sunday, the police said. On the requisition of the State Government of Mizoram, @IAF_MCC is deploying two Mi-17V5 helicopters, equipped with Bambi Bucket, to douse the major fire in the Lunglei district and adjoining areas.