Sundarbans forest fire extinguished

Sundarbans forest fire extinguished

22 March 2010

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Bangladesh —  A fire in the Sundarbans forest finally extinguished on Monday morning, two days after it initially broke out, officials said.

A three-member committee has been set up to investigate the fire led by Md Golam Kuddus, assistant forest conservator of Sundarbans (east division).

The fire, originating at Payshatti Chhila in Gulishakhali camp, started on Saturday afternoon in the Chandpai range of the Sundarbans east division and spread across about five acres of forest by Sunday.

The fire has now been totally put out, said Md Shahabuddin, assistant forest conservator of Sundarbans (east division).

Forest department workers, fire fighters and local people have also watered the area as an additional caution, he added

Sheikh Mizanur Rahman, deputy chief forest conservator, had earlier suggested that the fire might have been caused by gas emitted from leaves on the forest floor.

About six to nine inches of leaves are lying on the forest floor at this time of year, and “Flammable methane gas is produced when those leaves decompose.”

“This area (Payshatti Chhila) is very dry from February to April every year. Therefore, there is always a possibility of fire.”

Since 2001, at least nine fires have broken out at different places in the east division of the Sundarbans, consisting of Chandpai and Sharankhola ranges.

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