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Air Force Choppers Deployed As Forest Burns Rips Through Goa On Day 6, Minister Orders Probe

Goa Forest Fire: The Indian Air Force on Thursday deployed one Mi-17 helicopter to contain the devastating Goa forest fire that rages for the sixth day. An official statement from the Air Force read, “On 07 March 23, a Mi 17 V5 helicopter of AF Stn Sulur carried out ‘Bambi Bucket’ operations to assist in extinguishing fire at Brahmapuram waste processing plant. Six shuttles were flown to the affected area from a nearby water reservoir and 10800 litres of water were dropped.”

Here Are The Key Details

Last week on March 5, Goa Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane said that instructions have been given to concerned authorities to control the fire that has begun in the forests in northern Goa. “Directions have been issued to Acting APCCF Mr. Saurabh Kumar & DCFs to ensure the situation is brought under control. We need to ensure forest is protected, if need be, they have been instructed to take help of 
@Coll_NorthGoa & Fire Services to control the fire,” he tweeted.

The state government said that the fire was reported in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in the large area including Charavane, Chorla Ghat, Pali, and Satrem. Minister Rane said that the fire is mostly ‘man-made’ and an inquiry is in progress to find out miscreants.

Two days after the incident was reported, Indian Navy’s fire fighting equipment were flown in from Naval Units based at Kochi and Mumbai. The Navy said that multiple sorties for fighting fire were undertaken by Seaking aircraft of the Indian Navy in bad weather. It added that the fire was systematically contained to a large extent jointly with the forest department &local population

Forest minister Rane said on March 7, “This is a deliberate attempt to create such forest fires, I have directed the PCCF to divert all the forest guards deployed in the respective areas to control the situation. Strict Action will be taken under the Forest Protection Act.”

Indian Air Force deploys a Mi 17 V5 helicopter of AF Stn Sulur to carry out ‘Bambi Bucket’ operations to assist in extinguishing fire at Brahmapuram waste processing plant.

On March 8, Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant and MLA Poriem, Dr. Deviya Rane, convened a meeting with other officials who visited the Morlem fire-damaged site. 

Goa government orders a detailed probe into the incident saying the fire appears to be a ‘man-made’ incident. “The people responsible for this will be taken to task and suspended. In addition, I have given stern instructions that anybody found entering the wildlife sanctuary or putting a fire will be arrested under the Forest Act,” says Rane.

On March 8, forest minister Rane said that he has notified the team from the Forest Department about the major fire at Sarzora Hill. “I’ve spoken with PCCF Saurabh Kumar, and together we’re developing an action plan to make sure the fire is put out as soon as possible,” he added.

As of 8 AM on March 9, Rane tweeted, “No of Active Minor Fires-3, No of Fires doused yesterday- 28.”

According to Deccan Herald, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday directed the filing of a First Information Report (FIR) against unknown miscreants for starting forest fires in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in North Goa. “Fire incidents are taking place at various places. I have instructed officials to register FIR against those who lit fire intentionally. We will not tolerate such cases,” Sawant told reporters after the meeting, as quoted by DH.

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