Major forest-fire outside Vizag, IAF choppers deployed

Four IAF helicopters were on Friday pressed into service to extinguish a massive and widespread forest fire that started in the pristine forest areas 30 km east of Visakhapatnam.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 07, 2014, 21:51 PM IST

Visakhapatnam: Four IAF helicopters were on Friday pressed into service to extinguish a massive and widespread forest fire that started in the pristine forest areas 30 km east of Visakhapatnam.

The fire was now under control, the Indian Air Force said in a release this evening.

The fire started in Gudilova hill range yesterday evening, apparently from an oil lamp lit at a temple in the hills on the occasion of Kartik Purnima.

It soon spread out. Twenty fire-fighting teams with 29 fire engines were pressed into service which managed to bring the blaze under control this morning, divisional fire officer R G Sundaram told PTI.

There were no casualties so far.

On a request from the Andhra Pradesh government, four of the newly acquired IAF MI-17 V5 helicopters were pressed into action, the Air Force release said.

The choppers were using a forest fire fighting equipment called 'Bambi Bucket' which has a capacity of 3,500 litre of water, it said.

One lakh litres of water had been used to douse the fire so far, with the IAF helicopters making 42 sorties.

Another sortie is planned in the morning to assess the situation, the IAF said.