Bhutan — While the forest fire that had been burning in the two gewogs of Mongar for the last two days spread to a third gewog, Tongla in Kengkhar gewog yesterday, some 60 people were battling another forest fire in Punakha the same time.
As of last evening, more than 60 people led by the Punakha dzongda were battling the fire that had started around 2pm from Toebirongchhu when a farmer was burning debris. The fire had reached near Wolapokto lhakhang, about 10 minutes walk from the nearest road.
Punakha forest ranger Tashi said about two houses and some cows were reported to have burnt in the fire but that no casualties have been reported so far. The Laptsakha community primary school and Nalinda monastery are at risk from the fire, he said. A fire brigade has been allotted to the school and the monastery each.
In Mongar, the fire in Tongla was contained last evening. Mongars forest officer Norbu Wangdi said dry trees and thick grasses are fueling the fire. It has probably burnt about 1,000 to 2,000 acres of forest, he said.
There are more than 120 people trying to battle the fire but they said the places are unreachable. It is risky because trees and stones are rolling off the cliff, he said.