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Dzükou fire spreads southward
Published on 8 Jan. 2010 1:22 AM IST
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The fire which burned a big stretch of Khonoma Dzükou, that was sparked off on January 4, was reportedly fast spreading towards the southern Dzükou range. According to a report received here Thursday from Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary Trust (KNCTS) the blazing fire continues to ravage the valleys and surrounding mountains, and has reached the top mountains on the north side. “The flames of which were clearly visible in some parts of Kohima itself,” the KNCTS adviser Mhiesizokho Zinyu said in a note. It was estimated that a stretch of more ten kilometers have already been ravaged by the inferno. Renowned as a hotspot of nature reserve and a natural habitat of more than one thousand Blyth’s Tragopan and many other precious species of flora and fauna, the inferno has destroyed a large area of Tragopan Sanctuary, the KNCTS stated. The value of the loss incurred could not be estimated yet in view of the raging inferno on all sides, the KNCTS reported. The Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary Trust has called upon the NGOs and neighbouring villagers to remain alert for any eventuality. “The Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary Trust remains shocked and speechless by the Dzükou inferno which accidentally started January 4 as a result of negligence on the part of some young people while burning some plastics and papers littered by previous visitors,” Mhiesizokho Zinyu said. The KNCTS Trust in the note, has also expressed gratitude to the state government and in particular, the department of forest, ecology, wildlife and environment, the 16 Assam Rifles and volunteers of various organizations for their concern in combating the disaster. It may be mentioned that the dry jungle caught fire when few junior boys of the Catholic Youth Association Sechü-Zubza were burning some plastic, paper plates and cups. The CYA had reportedly admitted that the fire started by “sheer accident”. The Khonoma Dzükou is extensively covered by a luxuriant growth of bamboo brush and surrounded by deep forests of all kinds of species of flora and fauna to the extent of Dzupfu or Dzuku River. Kohima district administration to deploy volunteers Meanwhile, the Kohima district administration in consultation with the Khonoma village council, has arranged to deploy at least 300 volunteers from Khonoma village, both men and women, in an attempt to contain the inferno in Dzükou valley. According to Kohima deputy commissioner Beiu-u Angami, the volunteers would leave for Dzukou valley January 8, 6 a.m. from Khonoma village, a DIPR report stated. State forest department, home guards and fire & emergency services are already assisting the villagers in this matter, it was stated.

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