Taplejung. Helicopters have been used to control the fire that has been raging in the forest area of Pathibhara temple area in Taplejung for five days.
The fire that had been raging since Thursday had reached the temple premises on Monday morning.
A team of Nepal Army, Nepal Police, and Armed Police Force, including locals, tried their best but the fire was not brought under control and the temple itself was in danger.
Manmani Kafle, executive director of the Pathibhara Area Development Committee, said that the fire was extinguished by a helicopter carrying water from Jorpokhari.
According to him, the helicopter had poured water from the sky into the fire area by bringing water in a bucket of special technology.
The helicopter has poured water five times and the structures including the temple have survived the fire. Now the temple is said to be free from the risk of fire.
Although the fire was partially brought under control on Saturday evening, it spread to the temple premises on Monday morning. Although the Pathibhara temple is not at risk of fire now, the forest fire has not been brought under control yet.
The fire, which has been raging since Thursday, has destroyed large areas of forest and put dozens of cowsheds in the area at risk. As the forest is still on fire, the herds in Dhade and Harkate areas of Sikaicha in Sirijangha village are at risk.
Rare wild animal Red Panda is also found in the Pathibhara area. The fire destroyed even the drinking water pipes used by the residents of Fedi settlement, causing problems to the residents.
Meanwhile, according to Cimric Air pilot Surendra Poudel, this is the first time the fire has been brought under control by dropping water from a helicopter.
“We had trained manpower. Training is being done every year to draw and discharge water with a bucket of special technology. For the first time, we have used that technology and manpower to put out the fire,” he said.
He also said that only Cimric Air has the manpower with technology to put out the fire.
The fire that started on Thursday from Pathibhara Simbu Community Forest in Fungling Municipality-11 had spread to the forest of Pathibhara area. It is not clear who started the fire.