The efforts to douse flames in the forest area near Mount Abu in Sirohi district were resumed on second today by IAF helicopters which took off early in the morning from Jodhpur's Phalodi and Gujarat's Jamnagar. The sole hill station of the desert state, frequented by scores of tourists, witnessed the massive fire which broke out yesterday morning, prompting the district administration to rope in suitably modified IAF helicopter. "IAF Mi-17VS helicopters resumed bambi bucket operations on the second day today to douse the flames in Mount Abu," a defence spokesperson said. SP Sirohi Sandeep Singh Chauhan said that teams of the police, district administration, CRPF and the IAF are making all efforts to douse the flames. Thousands of tourists from within Rajasthan, the neighbouring Gujarat and other parts of the country visit the noted destination during summers and the incident has scared the tourist there. The tourists have been cautioned and asked to avoid going to sunset point and honeymoon point till the flames are doused fully. "The fire was not very far from sunset point and honeymoon point yesterday so both the places were evacuated. Besides these two, there are other tourist points in Mount and they are unaffected," Circle Officer Mount Abu, Vijay Pal Singh said. Singh said that tourists have been asked to stay away from both the places and the decision will be reviewed in the evening.
Besides, boating activity in Nakki lake has been restricted as the helicopters are fetching water from the lake. The lake is located in the middle of the town, nestled between the hills. The Circle Officer said that the fire in forests is a reoccurrence phenomenon but it was massive one this time. "Reason of the fire is not clear but bamboo trees in the forest sometimes cause wildfire. Some locals ignite fire for fetching honey and it can also lead to the forest fire," Singh said. Located 1,722 meters above the sea level and situated amidst the lush green hills on the highest point of the Aravali range, Mount Abu is home to lakes, waterfalls and green forests and many religious monuments.
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