Paro forest fire burns through the night

Paro forest fire burns through the night

28 December 2011

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Bhutan — A forest fire that has already burned in excess of 100 acres of blue pine is still raging in Paro valley.

The fire, the second in the dzongkhag this winter, was still burning as of last night. About a hundred personnel, including residents of Shari in Paro, attempted to control the fire, after it was detected at noon yesterday. Fire fighting activities had to be suspended at around 5pm and will be resumed by 7am today, said the Paro department of forests (DoF) officiating chief forestry officer, Kencho Ongdi.

He added that no structures were damaged, or are currently in danger of being damaged, as the fire is already above any settlements.

Kencho Ongdi pointed out that steep terrain, strong winds and lack of water sources are hindering fire control efforts.

He said that, despite several fire prevention awareness campaigns carried out this year, “there are many, who don’t care.”

He added that carelessness is a major factor of forest fires. He said that he would like to remind the public to be careful with where they discard their cigarettes, and to thoroughly extinguish any fires when on picnics.

Kencho Ongdi added that, once the culprit is found, the culprit will be fined Nu 1,000 for every acre of forest destroyed, and would also have to bear the expenses incurred to control and extinguish the forest fire.

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