Fire: If there were any signs of regeneration of foliage at Sangaygang after the massive fire last month, three consecutive forest fire around the same area yesterday would have destroyed it.

The fire spread across more than 300 acres of land and was contained at around 6pm yesterday.

According to forest officials, the first fire started at around 7:30am and was controlled within 20-30 minutes by police who arrived at the spot before much damage could be done.

The second fire started about 30 metres away from the first spot at around 11:30 am. Volunteers including personnel of the Royal Body Guard, army, police, forest department, Desuung, and trainees from the Royal Institute for Tourism and Hospitality in Motithang managed to contain the fire at around 12:45 pm.

Department of Forest and Park Services’ officiating Director General, Lobzang Dorji, said that after the second fire was successfully controlled, forest officials were having their lunch near the spot. “While they were having lunch, another fire started some 100 meters from the second spot,” he said. “The strong wind ignited the momentum and the fire grew stronger within no time.”

The fire that started at around 2:30pm destroyed the maximum area of forest cover. The blazing fire fanned by strong wind reached the top of the BBS tower within a few minutes and started burning on the other side of the peak.

The fire is suspected to have caused by a discarded cigarette butt.  “Our suspect is that the all the three fires are caused from human error,” said Lobzang Dorji. “There are no electric lines running in this area so it must have been some people who started the fire.”

More than a thousand volunteers were engaged in containing the third fire.

This is the eighth forest fire at Sangaygang this year.

Younten Tshedup