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Uttarakhand: IAF chopper takes water from Bhimtal lake to douse forest fires; CM to hold meeting in Haldwani | Watch

An IAF chopper on Saturday collected water from Bhimtal Lake to douse forest fires in Uttarakhand.

ANI news agency shared a video showing an Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter taking water from Bhimtal as several hectares of forest in the Uttarakhand region has been gripped in the fire.

The Uttarakhand government has roped in the Indian Army and IAF in controlling the fire in Nainital and other nearby regions.

On IAF chopper dousing the forest fires, Nainital Municipal Corporation Executive Officer Rahul Anand said, “Fire is reported in Nainital in many places, including very close to the Air Force Station in the district. The main purpose of bringing in helicopters to douse the fire was to keep the Air Force Station safe… The situation is under control now. Efforts are continuing.”

The district administration has banned boating in Naini Lake because of the blaze.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has acknowledged the severity and said he would be holding a meeting with the stakeholders in Haldwani on Saturday.

“The forest fires are a challenge for us. This is a big fire. We are working for all the essential needs. We have asked for help from the Army… I am going to conduct a meeting in Haldwani today. We have conducted a meeting in Dehradun also regarding this. We will try to control the fire as soon as possible,” Dhami said.

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Yesterday, forest fires became more severe with the flames reaching the High Court Colony in Nainital.

According to the daily bulletin issued by the Forest Department here, 26 incidents of forest fire occurred in the state’s Kumaon region in the last 24 hours, while five incidents occurred in Garhwal region, where 33.34 hectares of forest area was affected.

Nainital Divisional Forest Officer Chandrashekhar Joshi said, “We have deployed 40 Manora Range personnel and two forest rangers to extinguish the fire.”

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From November 1 last year till now, a total of 575 incidents of forest fire have been reported in the state, affecting 689.89 hectares of forest area and costing the state than 14 lakh.

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Meanwhile, three men were arrested and sent to jail for allegedly starting forest fires in two different areas of Jakholi and Rudraprayag.

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Published: 27 Apr 2024, 11:53 AM IST