IAF chopper pressed into service to douse Coimbatore forest fire


Chennai: The forest fire, raging in the Madhukarai forest range of Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district since April 11, continued to blaze as fire and rescue team could not climb the steep hills and an IAF chopper was pressed into service on Sunday, officials said.

The fire and rescue team had doused some areas but could not extinguish it fully and hence the Forest Department and Fire Department sought the services of the Indian Air Force helicopter.

The IAF chopper has done seven sorties since morning on Sunday and doused 10 hectares of fire. It carried 3,000 litres of water in each sortie, lifted from the Malampuzha dam in Kerala.

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Forest Department officials told IANS that the IAF chopper would fly more sorties till evening and douse fire in more areas.

Coimbatore District Collector, Kranthi Kumar Pati, and senior Forest Department officials have been overseeing the operation of the IAF chopper in dousing the forest fire that was threatening the entire forest area of Madhukkarai forest range.

The dry grass in the forest area had caught fire during heavy summer and were coming down the steep hills like burning fireballs leading to the fire’s spread.

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( With inputs from )

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