While more than 300 firefighters have managed to contain the Bjimina fire by 4:30pm yesterday, the evening rain helped mop up, according to the divisional forest officer, Gyeltshen Dukpa.

“Now we don’t have to worry that the fire might reignite,” he said.

The fire, which started from the colony of Gidakom hospital on the afternoon of February 23, was contained the following afternoon but fierce winds reignited the fire.

Gyeltshen Dukpa, who is also the officiating forest director, said foresters, police and soldiers reached Dadogoenpa by 5:30am yesterday morning and saved the monastery from the fire.

He said desuups, hospital staff, local residents of Mewang gewog and Bhutan Power Corporation officials also helped to contain the fire.

The Bjimina fire, which officials suspect to have started from the colony of Gidakom hospital colony, is the major fire this winter in Thimphu. Foresters are yet to assess the total forest area damaged by the fire. More than 200 acres of forest was destroyed by the evening of February 24.

According to the divisional forest officer, the Department of Forest created awareness through broadcast and print media, requesting people not to burn debris by afternoon, as dry area and wind fuel the fire. “But people are not adhering to our request, resulting in huge loss of our natural resources.”

Now that the fire is contained, he said that they would find out what caused the fire and the total damages. “Someone has to take accountability.”

While thanking all the people who came forward to contain the fire, Gyeltshen Dukpa said foresters would inspect the whole area and ensure it doesn’t reignite today.

Staff reporter