Arunachal forest fire threatens ecosystem

Itanagar: A forest fire has been raging in the Dariya Hills in Arunachal Pradesh for the last three days with black smoke bellowing into the sky of the state capital threatening the flora and fauna here.

"It appears to be a daunting task to douse the fire in Dariya Hills, which comes under Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary, as the state does not have required resources to tackle such massive bushfire going on for three days", forest department sources said.

Hinting that the blaze may be man-made, the sources said, the job of apprehending the culprits was difficult unless the local community cooperated. Two persons were arrested from Raj Niwas area yesterday for allegedly setting fire to the forest.

Expressing pain over the loss of greenery, Governor Gen (retd) J J Singh said the fire would have huge impact on the ecosystem for years to come.

Singh said the huge ash clouds might pose problems for aviation and the flora and fauna. It might also cause water crisis as the wildlife sanctuary is a major source of water in the region.

Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, who left for Canada on Monday, has directed the administration to control the fire. The state authorities on Monday had a meeting and constituted a steering committee at the state level and one task force for the state capital region to contain the fire and take measures to prevent future bush fire, official sources said.