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Volunteers still camped in Dzükou
Correspondent Kohima, Jan 10 (NPN):
Published on 11 Jan. 2010 12:47 AM IST
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After the raging forest fires were finally douzed by volunteers which had burnt around five square kilometers of western Dzükou and advancing towards Southern Dzukou valley, around 20 volunteers were still camped in the valley. Speaking to Nagaland Post over phone on Sunday, Angami Public Organization (APO) general secretary, K. Neingunyii Sekhose said the fire was contained and volunteers returning back after dousing the flames which also ravaged some parts of Southern Dzukou. He informed that around 20 volunteers were still stationed in Dzükou valley as “Rear Guard” and would be keeping a close eye on the entire valley before returning back on Monday. During the last six days hundreds of volunteers from western and southern Angami villages along with APO officials, personnel of the state Forest department, police, Home Guards and Assam Rifles camped in Dzükou. The volunteers cut down fire lines to control further spread of the flames that had consumed an estimated area of five square kilometers of virgin forest in Western Dzükou area. The fire was reportedly triggered accidentally on January 4 last by a group of youth who went to Western Dzükou on a retreat and prayer programme. They were burning garbages and the fire reportedly went out of control. 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 in a similar inferno. In summer, wild herbs and shrubs sprout along the stream banks. KYO lauds The Khonoma Youth Organisation (KYO) in a statement issued by its president, Megovisa Sophi stated that the fire had ravaged much of the valley which falls under the village community wildlife protected areas like the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary. Sophi said that it was due to the efforts of the village community, Khonoma Youth Organization, various government departments, NGOs and other volunteers that the fire was contained. The KYO had mobilized over 300 youth on a ‘Save Khonoma Dzukou mission’ to contain the wildfire, some of whom were still camping in the valley to ensure that the fire do not spread further as there were still a few burning logs and trees. The KYO president lauded the collective efforts and commitments of all concerned citizens in controlling the fast spreading wildfire citizens and conveyed its appreciation to minister for agriculture Dr. Chumben, Murry, deputy commissioner Kohima, Angami Public Organization, Angami Women Organization, Western Angami Women Organization, forest department, home department, medical department and Assam Rifles. The organization also expressed gratitude to all NGOs, environmentalists and ecologically conscious people for their continuous moral support.

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