A massive fire that broke out at a popular hill station in western India on Friday (14 April) continued to devastate the forest even as nearly 400,000 litres of water was poured to douse the blaze over the weekend.
The wildfire reportedly began in a dense forest near the famous spot where tourists head to experience the sunset called Honeymoon Point in Mount Abu in western state of Rajasthan. Authorities said most of the fire was under control as of Monday (15 April), but some pockets were still burning.
Indian Air Force helicopters reportedly made 64 trips on Sunday (16 April) and poured nearly 195,500 litres of water over the flames. Over the past three days, the choppers have made a total of 144 trips to various locations.
Strong winds fanned the blaze, which spread to a wider area, but inhabited areas were not affected. Mount Abu is the only hill station in the western state that is mostly dry throughout the year.
District collector Abhimanyu Kumar told the Indian Express that the fire "spread to some new pockets [on Sunday] because of the dry vegetation" and they were trying to control it. He added that no homes were damaged and no casualties have been reported so far.
In addition to Indian Air Force helicopters, army personnel were also assisting authorities on the ground to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
"Today, the fire is under control yet it is raging at scattered places and can be controlled by the fire fighters on the ground," Vijay Pal Singh, an officer with forest department, told NDTV. Army officers also said that the fire would be controlled by Monday.