EARLIER this year Mussoorie residents faced a spate of natural disasters including
fires and earthquakes.
Acres of land were incinerated in and around Woodstock School and in
neighbouring villages when fires threatened the region.
At Woodstock in April, fires were fought at Cozy Comer, Palisades (just below the
school gate) and below Midlands girls dorm.
Staff and students formed human chains to ferry the water to the concentrated fire
areas. Others beat the fires with rakes to subdue the flames. Fire lines-were also made
to prevent the spread of fires into populated areas.
Another forest fire started near the Bitaudi village when the villagers set up a fire to
keep the bears away. A group of students chaperoned by Mr Crider volunteered to
fight the fire.
Senior Nirwan Motwani said, "We left at 5am to fight the fire ... the fire was so
huge and we could not get close to it.
"We had no control over the fire, all we could do was prevent it from spreading by
The fires were finally quelled by the pre-monsoon rains which arrived on May
4th. It had not rained since February l2th, making this last summer one of the longest
and hottest in recent history. The rhododendrons on south-facing hills bloomed twice,
once in February, and once again in June. However, a normal monsoon has helped the
vegetation to recover.