Sundarbans fire now under control

Sundarbans fire now under control

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The fire that erupted at Chandpai Range of the Sundarbans East Zone on Wednesday afternoon was finally brought under control on Friday. Morelganj upazila fire station officer M Ariful Haque told UNB that the fire is now totally under control and the firefighters have already left the area towards the station. Divisional forest officer (DF0) of the Sundarbans East Zone, M Amir Hossain Chowdhury, said although the fire has been tamed, the forest guards will remain in that area for one more day to watch for further development. He said although no fire is visible in the area right now, there is still possibility of fire generating again from the tree bases due to the wind. Concerning the cause of the fire and the losses of the biodiversity, he said the assessment cannot be made until the probe committee formed in this regard files its report. Despite vigorous efforts by firefighters, forest guards and local people to tame the blaze, several acres of forest land with hundreds of Sundari trees were burnt down by the fire before the time it was doused. Locals claimed that they saw fire erupting sporadically in the affected area till the morning on Friday, and that smokes are still gushing out from tree bases. They also observed that the fire spot is not frequented by honey gatherers and that the fire might have been caused by some people with an intention to clear out the jungle for fishing. In the past, they noted, similar fires broke out that eventually made ways for setting fish catching nets in those areas. The Forest Department on Thursday formed a three-member committee to investigate the fire and the committee started its work on Friday. The committee was asked to submit its report within three days of the formation. Morelganj police station officer-in-charge M Aslam Khan said they have filed a general diary in connection with the fire. – UNB

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