India — Days after an accidental fire threatened to ravage the entire Dzukuo Valley but later doused by fire control teams, the department of Forest & Wildlife today furnished a report on the extent of damage caused during the six-day inferno. Chief Conservator of Forest Panger Jamir in the report stated that the total area affected is 7.33 square kilometres, while the actual affected area is 5.5 square kilometres. In the inferno which raised apprehensions about damage to the valleys flora and fauna, the department said that the main affected species of vegetation is the Arundinaria Rollana (a bamboo species), while the dominant Lithocarpus spp (oak) has also been partially affected. The bamboo species destroyed in the fire is used by villagers as broom materials but the exact assessment of the damage could not be ascertained, the department said. However, basing on fact that about 10,000 broom sticks can be accumulated in one hectare of land, the tangible loss is placed at Rs. 55 lakhs of broom value, the report stated. The department said other wooded forests have not been affected much. However, there is a huge loss if it is calculated in terms of tangible benefit from bio-diversity conservation and ecology. In the event following the fire, the department sent 120 personnel for six day (20 everyday) and Home guards numbering 15 were sent for one day. Further, from January 4 to the 7th, Khonoma village sent 15 volunteers everyday, and on January 8, sent 300 more volunteers. 30 volunteers from Sechu Zubza and another 30 from Dzulukie village as part of the fire control teams. The department said the exact area where the forest fire broke out is difficult to ascertain as there is no proper approach road or foot path in the valley. The locations are in very steep terrains and matted with thick bamboo measuring 3 to 5 feet high. In such circumstances, the department said, it is not possible to access the area without cutting down bamboo. However the department said that the fire started approximately around 1.30 pm on January 4 and was doused about 1pm on January 9. The department has reminded the public that conserving the states natural assets is not only the duty of the department, but that of every citizen as well.