Fire near army cantonment in Rajasthan contained

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Jaipur, March 29 (IANS) A major forest fire that broke out in an area adjacent to an army cantonment near Udaipur in Rajasthan has been brought under control, officials said on Wednesday.

The fire was observed about one km from the Eklinggarh Military Station on Tuesday around midnight late on Tuesday.

“Alert army personnel on duty spotted the fire, fast approaching towards the cantonment. The district administration was informed about the fire along with forest officials and fire fighting services,” a statement by Lt. Col. Manish Ojha, Defence Spokesperson, Rajasthan, said.

Prompt and effective fire fighting operation was carried out by the Indian Army soldiers with guidance from forest department officials and assistance from fire-fighting services and the spread of fire was effectively contained.

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The operation continued throughout the night, with all agencies working in coordination to ensure no loss to life and property.

After assessing the spread of the fire, the Indian Air Force (IAF) was called in for assistance and two suitably equipped and modified MI-17 V5 helicopters were flown in to Udaipur, Lt. Col. Ojha said.

The helicopters took off on Wednesday and after a quick recce of the affected area, started the fire-fighting operations.

One MI-17 V5 helicopter carried out 10 sorties, dropping over 25,000 litres of water with the help of an underslung ‘Bambi Bucket’ effectively dousing the fire, according to reports.

The Indian Army is keeping a close watch on the area, with the IAF helicopters standing by in Udaipur to handle any recurrence of the fire, the Defence Spokesperson said.

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