Massive forest fires have broken out in several parts of Mizoram damaging vast tracts of land and vegetation focing Chief Minister Zoramthanga to seek central help, an official of the state disaster management and rehabilitation department said on Sunday.
Lunglei district deputy commissioner M Misael told PTI that a massive forest fire broke at Saisih forest area in the outskirts of Lunglei town between 6 am and 7 am on Saturday. It spread to Lunglei town on Sunday.
No human casualty has, however, been reported so far but detailed reports are yet to come in from the affected districts, the official said.
Zoramthanga has requested Indian Air Force for help and the IAF is deploying two helicopters to douse the blaze at Lunglei and surrounding areas, the defence ministry said.
Lunglei is the worst affected and the state government will probe the cause of the forest fire as it is suspected to be man-made, the official said.
State Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister T J Lalnuntluanga and Serlui assembly constituency MLA Lalrinsanga Ralte rushed to Lunglei on Sunday to take stock of the situation.
At least three other districts apart from Lunglei – namely Serchhip, Lawngtlai and Hnahthial are affected by the forest blaze and firemen have been deployed at several incident sites, he said.
The forest fire broke out in at least eight forest areas near Serchhips Chanmari Veng locality, Chhiahtlang and North Vanlaiphai. Forest fire incidents have also been reported at Darzo and South Vanlaiphai forest areas in Hnahthial district, officials said.