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Forest fire in Paro that began from Tshendona Friday is still to be doused. Efforts are being made to contain the inferno that is spreading towards Taktsang with a fire line.

A fire line is a strip of land cleared to prevent fire from spreading.

The fire had reached Tshento-Shari ridge at around 6:00 pm yesterday.

Social Forestry and Extension Division’s chief forestry officer, Passang Wangchen Norbu, said that about three streams run through the area towards Taktsang and plans have been made to contain the fire at the area. “We are creating a large gap of clearing along the stream. We will try and make as many fire lines to make sure the fire is contained.”

Dzongkhag officials, armed forces personnel, forest officials, DeSuungs, locals and volunteers from various organisations were engaged in containing the fire.

Passang Wangchen Norbu said that making a fire line would start at 6:30 am today. “The fire in other directions is out of reach. The fire is spreading in all directions, but we have focused on Taktsang.”

The fire has reportedly killed many wild animals.

Strong winds have made fire fighting difficult. Two choppers were called to contain the fire.

The Sanga Choekhorling Lhakhang was also on route of the fire on February 10. Fire brigades are still at the location.

Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited’s chief executive officer, Chhewang Gyeltshen, said that internal coordination was one of the challenges in providing chopper services to contain fire. “There are many people directing the chopper at once. And I think the fire would be contained easily if we are informed when the fire started.”

Chopper services were provided from 7:00 am until sunset.

Phurpa Lhamo

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