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Dzükou fire put under control

An area of the Dzukou valley ravaged by the inferno. (Courtesy: Jotsoma Village Council)
Correspondent KOHIMA, JAN 9 (NPN):
Published on 10 Jan. 2010 12:22 AM IST
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After six days of ravaging the pristine jungle and parts of the virgin forest in western Dzükou which also threatened to engulf the other southern part, the raging fire which started on January 4 was finally brought under control Saturday afternoon by hundreds of volunteers pressed into service. According to an unofficial source, the inferno died down after it was brought under control by hundreds of volunteers at around 2 pm on Saturday. Volunteers from different western and southern Angami villages along with APO officials, personnel of the state forest department, police, home guards, district and Assam Rifles had camped in Dzükou by cutting down fire lines to control further spread of the fire that has so far ravaged and consumed an estimated area of five square kilometers of virgin forest in Western Dzükou area. The fire was started accidentally on January 4 last by a group of youths who went to Western Dzükou on a retreat and prayer programme. The youth were collecting garbage and burning it which spread and went out of control. Both SP Kohima Zekotso Mero and DFO Kohima, Temjen confirmed that the fire was under control and that there was no more danger unless sudden wind restart the fire. “Everyone involved in the fire fight deserve a pat on their back,” the DFO said while talking to Nagaland Post. According to Southern Angami Youth Organization source, around 159 volunteers returned home on Saturday after the fire was put under control while some 50 volunteers would halt for the night along with officials of the APO, SAPO, Police and district administration for confirmation tomorrow. Meanwhile, since the start of the fire in the biodiversity- rich Dzükou valley, embers from the ravaged jungle were floating everywhere in the air in Kohima town and surrounding villages. Some embers got carried away by the wind till some parts of Phek district, it was reported. It may be mentioned that the state had earlier witnessed another devastating forest fire in the biodiversity rich Southern Dzükou valley in 2006 when a vast chunk of the virgin forest was destroyed and consumed in a similar manner.

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