The Thimphu dzongkhag forest office confirmed the excavator operator as the main culprit of the devastating forest fire that started from Ramtokto last week.
The culprit was confirmed after an investigation conducted by the police and forest officials right after the forest fire.
According to the dzongkhag forest officer, Dawa Tshering the forest officials were able to nab the main culprit based on various evidences and verifications.
He said that the forest officials who were involved in the forest fire investigation was able to get hold of a video clip showing the flickers erupting from the power line that the excavator operator had hit with his vehicle. There were also a few eye witnesses who were working near the fire.
Further the officials could also validate the excavator operator as the main culprit from the pictures taken by officials showing some part of excavator bucket burnt by the flicker produced from the power line.
“Contradicting statements to the police and the absconding attempt after the forest fire was enough to prove him guilty” Thimphu Dzongkhag Forest officer Dawa Tshering said.
He said that the culprit has been handed over to the Forest fire division after being proven guilty of starting a forest fire and accordingly the division will award him the penalty.
The excavator operator works for a construction company called Vajra Builders and the fire is believed to have started when the excavator bucket hit the power line which is erected about 10 meters from the ground.
The forest fire, started from Ramtokto, Thimphu, on the afternoon of March 17, and took three days for the fire fighters to contain due to lack of road access. More than a 1,000 acres of forest area was burnt and what was more the smoke choked Thimphu valley for hours.