Over 45 acres of forest was damaged in the fire as of yesterday in Punakha (Photo: Wangdue forest division)

Forest fire in Punakha yet to be contained

A forest fire that started around midnight on January 30 in Punakha is yet to be contained. Over 45 acres of forest has been destroyed as of yesterday.

The fire started near Tashidingkha Middle Secondary School, in Dzomi gewog.

According to forest division officials in Wangdue, no casualties have been reported as of yesterday. “There are no buildings or settlement near the fire. We are hopeful that the fire will be contained today. Although the fire is in Punakha, the forest division in Wandgue looks after the two dzongkhags.”

The cause of the fire is still unknown. “We are investigating it right now. We learnt about the fire from the forest officials in Punakha.”

Over 100 forest, police, and army personnel, desuung, and locals are helping to contain the fire. The firefighters are battling the fire from 7am to 8pm.

“It is risky to work at night. But we have the monitoring team at the site. About 90 percent of the fire has been contained,” a forest official said. “It is chirpine forest and compared to bluepine forest, the damage is less because the bark of the trees are thick. But we will try to contain it as soon as possible.”

Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

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