Dhaka – The fire that broke out on Sunday evening at Shikdar Bari Shila in Chandpai Range of the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, was doused on Monday afternoon.
Station officer of Dhansagar in Chandpai Range, Sultan Mahmud, said the fire broke out on Sunday evening and continued to spread till Monday morning, UNB news agency reported.
Informed by local fishermen, forest officials rushed to the spot brought the fire under control with the help of locals and firefighters around 8:30 am today.
Station officer of Morelganj Fire Station Swapan Kumar Bhakta said they cut a fire lane encompassing about 10 acres around the fire as a preparatory measure.
Forest fires are critical and can spread across a huge area through the land, said Swapan.
Some shrubs and bushes were burnt in the fire, said Station Officer of Chandpai Range Sultan Mahmud.
However, the firefighting units doused the flame around 1:30 pm today, Swapan added.
Meanwhile, the Forest Department formed a three-member probe body, headed by Assistant Forest Conservator Md Belayet Hossain of Chandpai Range, to find out what actually caused the fire.
The probe body has been asked to submit its report within three days, Divisional Forest Officer of Sundarbans East Zone Saidul Islam told reporters.
He said the fire burned down shrubs and bushes on half acres of land and the extent of damages not much big. However, the origin of fire and the extent of damages caused by the fire could be ascertained only when the probe report will be available, he added.
According to official sources, 18 fire incidents took place at Sharankhola and Chandpai ranges under the Sundarbans east zone during the last 14 years since 2002 which burned down forest resources 60 acres of land.
But the Forest Department does not have its own firefighting units or fire station despite repeated fire incidents in the forest during dry season.
Prof Dr Mahmud Hossain at Forestry and Wood Technology Discipline of Khulna University stressed the need for raising awareness about fire incidents among people living in the areas adjacent to the forest. – UNB