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The forest fire that has been raging for the last four days in Paro is likely to be contained today, dzongkhag officials say.

Paro’s dzongdag Tenzin Thinley said that the fire is subsiding for now. “It is almost contained and we are hoping it would be contained by today,” he said. “But, we cannot say for sure as it would depend on the wind and weather. Some animals such as yaks have been lost to the fire.”

He said that the fire didn’t reach the fire line that was created as personnel from the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP), the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA), Desuungs, community and volunteers helped douse the fire before it reached the fire-line.

“The weather was also favorable,” he said.

Although there were no settlements on the Doteng side, he said, the fire was out of reach, on a hilltop.

Dzongrab Kinley Gyeltshen said that as of yesterday evening, only about 10 percent of the fire has not been contained. “We are planning on mopping the fire around 7am today.”

Some tourists and guides who were visiting Taktsang returned after dzongkhag officials cautioned them about the risk of fire. However, Taktsang remained open, he said.

The fire fighters created three fire lines to prevent the fire from reaching the monastery.

Helicopter services were also availed twice yesterday, Kinley Gyeltshen said, adding that if needed, they would avail the service again today.

“The fire in Sanga Choekhorling area had been completely contained. The fire had affected Doteng, Shari, Lango, and Tsento gewogs.”

It was not yet known on how many acres of forest the fire has destroyed.

Rinchen Zangmo

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