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Smoke still billowing at Chandpai of Sundarbans

Smoke still billowing at Chandpai of Sundarbans

Bagerhat – Three days into the forest fire that broke out in Tultala area of Chandpai range of the Sundarbans in Sarankhola upazila, smoke was still billowing around the burnt out area on Friday.

Firefighters along with forest officials were found spraying water to stop the smoke in the area on Friday morning, though the Forest Department (FD) claimed that it has been completely extinguished.
The firefighters and forest officials will be staying there for a few days more, they added.
Conservator of Forests (Khulna circle) Mohammad Zahir Uddin Ahmed said the fire has been extinguished after hours of hectic efforts by the firefighters, forest officials and locals from Wednesday evening to Friday noon.
Meanwhile, the FD has issued a special ‘alert’ in Chandpai range of the Sundarbans East Zone following the fourth fire incident there in four weeks.
The FD has put in place a number of special security measures and also a temporary ban on issuance of all types of ‘permit’ for general people in Chandpai and Swarankhola range, on forest resource collection and on entry to the forest by fishermen, and honey and leaf collectors in Chandpai range.
The ban took effect on Thursday and remain in force until further notice, said Zahir Uddin.
The fishermen and honey collectors who had entered the forest before the notice have been asked to return their permits to the forest officials and leave the forest as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, a six-member probe committee, led by Mohammad Moazed Hossain, joint secretary of Environment and Forests Ministry, has been formed to investigate the fire incidents.
The committee was asked to submit its report by 10 days.
The fourth fire incident in Tultala area of the Sundarbans under Chandpai Range of the upazila broke out on Wednesday.
The repeated fire incidents in the world’s largest mangrove forest and a Unesco world heritage site have irked the environment activists as they say such incidents may cast a far-reaching adverse impact on its ecosystem.