Chencho Dema | Punakha 

Thimphu police have identified the three bodies a firefighter found in the forest above Chang Debsi on February 23. The three men were loggers working for a contractor in Thimphu.

The victims aged 49, 32, and 29 were all from Trashiyangtse.

The 33-year-old taxi driver from Pemagatshel died in a fire on February 22 at Chang Debsi. The deceased had just returned from treatment in Kolkata, India.

Although the fire was nowhere near his place, a police official said that it is unknown why he stepped outside. The victim had gone outside to fight the fire, his brother told police. The deceased was single and lived with relatives in a rented flat.

The source of the forest fire has been the subject of several competing theories. Some eyewitnesses said that sparks from electricity lines started the fire, while others said that the fire began after the transformer blew.

The cause of the fire, which burned across thousands of acres of forest and killed four lives in just two days, has not yet been determined.

Senior Superintendent of Thimphu police, Colonel Namgay said, “We are still investigating the cause of the fire.”

Bhutan Power Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Sonam Tobjey said that BPC’s technical team had visited the site immediately at the time of the incident and found the transformer and lines in good condition.

He visited the site yesterday with his team and found no signs of any linkage of the fire to the BPC transformer or cables. “Therefore, we were not able to confirm the fire’s origin.”

He said, “BPC is also cooperating with the electricity regulatory authority officials who are undertaking an independent assessment.”

The fire broke out around noon on February 22 and blown by strong winds it quickly spread across the hills on both sides of Debsi.