IAF, Army continue operation to douse Andhra forest fire
Posted on Mar 21 2014 | IANS
Tirupati, March 21 : The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Army continued their joint operation for a second day Friday to douse a huge fire in Seshachalam forest in Andhra Pradesh.
The IAF helicopters sprayed water on the fire raging for four days around Tirumala Hills, famous for the Balaji temple.
Two MI-17 V5 helicopters with 'Bambi buckets' with a capacity of 4,000 litres of water each, extinguished the fires in several areas.
The helicopters resumed the operations from Renigunta Airport near here.
Two Army columns (comprising around 125 personnel each), moved from Chennai, were deployed Thursday to assist the state administration in dealing with the crisis.
It was immediately not clear if the operation would continue Saturday.
The fire destroyed flora and fauna over 6,000 hectares and was threatening the shrine.
Meanwhile, forest authorities have controlled a fire in Nallamalla forest near Srisailam. The fire was spotted Thursday.