Air Force choppers sprinkle water to douse raging fire near Vaishno Devi Shrine

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Air Force choppers were used on Wednesday to douse forest fires near a Hindu shrine in Katra region of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

An official said that fire broke out in the forest area near the Mata Vaishnoo Devi shrine in Katra area of Reasi district yesterday morning.

He said the fire couldn’t be controlled until late last night despite massive efforts of Katra police, Shrine board, forest authorities and fire department

“Due to the raging fire, the helipad authorities shifted their landing base from Katra helipad to Kakrayal University for safety reasons,” said a senior police officer.

He added that they also shifted their fuel stocks at safer places last evening.

“Fire on the front side of the ridge has almost been controlled but it is still raging on its rare side,” he said.

As a result of fire, chopper service to the shrine has been suspended for about two hours.

“Air Force choppers are being used in fire-fighting,” said SSP Reasi Sujit Kumar.

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