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Dzükou Valley escapes another disaster

A view of Mt. Tempu, adjoining Dzükou Valley, which was razed by a major fire recently. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, FEB 26 (NPN):
Published on 27 Feb. 2009 10:57 AM IST
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The famous tourist destination Dzükou Valley had narrowly escaped the repetition of the 2006 forest fire and its total defacement after a recent major forest fire in neighbouring Mount Tempu that left a trail of irreparable destruction recently stopped short of touching the valley. The State Forest Department which carried out an on-the-spot inspection of the forest fire in Mount Tempu on February 23 found that the forest fire had stopped before touching Dzükou Valley. The fire in Mount Tempu, which reportedly started from somewhere in Kezol Forest between February 15 to 18 and engulfed a large portion of the virgin forest along the Japfu range, had left behind a trail of destruction on its rich bio-diversity. DFO Kohima Temjenyabang in his on-the-spot inspection finding report submitted to the Conservator of Forests on Thursday stated that the forest fire had totally destroyed around 60 hectares of virgin forest. The reports said though it was difficult pin point the exact place from where the fire started, it had been established that the fire started from Kezol area, spread to mount Tempu and then to Dzükou range. “The fire seemed to have died down at the time of verification by the Forest Department team, but on their return from the spot, the team could see smoke emitting from some burnt trees leading to the fear that the fire may restart if there is heavy wind in the next one or two days,” the report said. The Forest department also carried out similar verification of forest fire in Aradura Hill and Khonoma village forest area. (Contd... on Page 2) Dzükou Valley escapes another disaster From page 1 In its report, the DFO stated that the forest fire in Aradura Hill near Phesama village started on February 21 and was continuing till Thursday, destroying about 15 hectares of forest cover so far. As per the report, the fire was moving towards Japfu Range and to control the fire in the area may be difficult owing to its precipitous topography. The department officials also stumbled upon another forest fire in Khonoma village forest area while they were on their way to verify the thick smoke which was seen emitting from the Puliebadze Wildlife Sanctuary. On reaching the spot, they found that there was no incident of fire inside the sanctuary. Instead, there were two spots in Khonoma area where fire broke out covering around five hectares of land. Moreover, fire was also visible in the foothills of Japfu Range, it stated. The report further pointed out that the area engulfed by fire is very extensive and necessitates the involvement of other departments like the Civil Defence and Disaster Management cell under Home department to help fight such outbreak of fire in the district. Meanwhile, with the onset of spring accompanied by high speed wind, the state has been battling spurt of forest fire in and around the state capital almost daily. On Thursday, an alarm was raised in the state capital that the state Secretariat caught fire with several fire tenders blaring sirens were seen rushing towards it. However, it turned out to be another major forest fire in the vicinity of the Secretariat complex at around 1.40 pm. The Fire Service department on receiving information pressed six fire tenders into service, and the razing fire accompanied by high speed wind was doused completely after four hours, thereby preventing a major disaster in the centre of administration of the state. In a release, DIG Fire Service stated that today’s fire would have been devastating but for the prompt action and timely arrival of the fire fighters. He lauded the fire fighters for the excellent job done and appealed to the public to cooperate with the fire service anytime in any situation in view of the dry season.

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