Dry forest foliage, strong wind force, and add to that human carelessness, well, most of the time, and you get a roaring forest fire. The painful fact of forest fires is that precious flora and fauna is lost to the fire. It takes years to re grow a forest back to its former glory. The harm to the environment is tremendous.
Yesterday alone, three separate fire incident were reported in Thimphu, the first big one in the Sangaygang hill area. The other two minor fire incidents took place in Taba and Dechenphu.
The massive fire at Sangaygang started at around 11:10 am from the road above Sangaygang, at a distance of 9 meters above the road. Officials said that by the time a fire truck reached the scene, the fire has gone up to 300 meters and police officials were the first to reach the scene.
It is estimated that around 50 acres of forest has been lost to the fire. The fire being a massive one was hard to control. More than 300 people comprising of officials from RBP, RBG, RBA, DeSunng, civilian and locality were gathered to fight the forest fire.
As water was out of reach and there being no road access, the fire fighters fought the flames manually. However, a chopper came to the rescue, bringing river water from Thimphu Chhu, to be poured over the raging fire and dousing the flames.
During the fire fighting process, a man, a civilian fell down from a cliff while fighting the fire. Officials say that his leg has been injured but he is in a stable condition at the hospital.
The people living near the vicinity of the forest fire were worried because the fire had almost reached their house.
“I didn’t know what to do because we were only three when the fire started and all I could do was flush water all over my house to at least keep them safe from fire. It nearly took away my breath,” she said.
The massive fire was brought under control at around 5 pm and the cause of fire is still unknown. Meanwhile, less than one acre of forest was lost to the forest fire in Taba and 20 decimal of forest was lost to fire in Dechenphu. The fire is said to have been caused by an electric short circuit.