The Indian Air Force (IAF) is helping to douse the forest fire that broke out this afternoon in hills around Mt. Abu town. The forest fire is progressing towards inhabited areas assisted by winds. Wing Commander Abhishek Matiman (PRO, Defence) said at around 12:30 p.m. today the Headquarter SWAC Gandhinagar received a call from Rajasthan Government seeking help in dousing a massive forest fire in the hills around Mt Abu town fast progressing towards the inhabited areas assisted by winds.
Already on alert and standing by with suitably modified MI-17V5 helicopters with Bambi Bucket, the helicopter unit at Phalodi (Rajasthan) swung into action with the first hptr reaching the site by 14:20 p.m. A quick aerial recce was carried out and the operation got underway. The Nakki lake in the midst of Mt Abu town, nestled between a hills was identified as the most viable source of water.
Braving the altitude and skillful maneuvering through the terrain around Nakki Lake, the Air Warriors managed to push in seven sorties dropping close to about 20,000 litres of water over the spread of fire most dangerously close to inhabited area. The operation is likely to be augmented by an additional IAF MI-17V5 hptr from Jamnagar tomorrow at first light. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has directed the state administration to provide aircraft refuelling facilities at the location in order to save precious time during operations tomorrow.