Bangladesh — Officials suspect foul play behind the series of fires that raged through the Sundarbans within a span of 10 days.
Forest keeper Mohammad Akbar Hossain on Thursday told bdnews24.com that although it was difficult to pinpoint the reasons without investigation, “four separate fires since Mar 1 have raised suspicion of foul play”.
“I have instructed forest officers to investigate whether any criminal groups or locals are involved in the incidents,” he said.
Fires broke out in the world’s largest mangrove forest on Tuesday in Napitkhali and Pachakuralia. On Wednesday, another fire started in Nangli, while earlier on Mar 1, fire engulfed a part of forest in Nangli that continued until Mar 2.
Two forest department probe teams are working to investigate the cause and estimate the damages from the fire.
“Firemen and forest officers are still trying to quell the flames in Nangli that erupted on Wednesday,” Sundarbans east divisional forest officer Mihir Kumar Do told bdnews24.com.
Forest keeper Hossain said Thursday’s work had been hampered by strong winds. “Hopefully we’ll be able to extinguish the fire by Friday evening,” he added.