For­est fire plays havoc in Thim­phu

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

With at least four fire in­ci­dents re­ported within two days in the cap­i­tal, the govern­ment’s only he­li­copter helped doused two ma­jor fires at Sangaygang and Sa­maz­ingkha as of yes­ter­day.

Fire at Sangaygang, which started on Fe­bru­ary 12, was con­tained on the same day, while Sa­maz­ingkha’s fire that broke from a river­side was also con­tained with the aid of he­li­copter, arm forces, de­su­ung, for­est of­fi­cials and vol­un­teers af­ter bat­tling for hours.

The po­lice along with their par­ents had ques­tioned the two youths, who are sus­pected to have started the fire.

The youth who are un­der 15 years told po­lice that the fire got spread, while they were play­ing with a match­box near the river­side.

The fire, which started at around 12pm, de­stroyed around 10 acres of for­est that has newly planted trees.

The govern­ment’s he­li­copter ser­vice on time saved few houses that lie along the fire line. Tandin nye was also safe.

Un­like the fire at San- gay­gang, where the area is cov­ered with thick for­est, fire fight­ers at Sa­maz­ingkha had easy ac­cess to the spot with road con­nec­tion and less grown trees. “It was easy for us to reach on time as the area is mostly cov­ered with dry grasses,” said one desuup vol­un­teer.

Fire bri­gades were also able to en­gaged from dif­fer­ent spots as it was within reach from the road points.

The fire at Sangaygang which be­gun at around 12pm was brought un­der con­trol af­ter few hours, de­stroyed around 20 acres of for­est. One vol­un­teer in­jured af­ter he fall down from a clip.

Fire was sus­pected to be caused by a dis­carded cig­a­rette butt as some eye­wit­ness saw a cou­ple leav­ing the spot be­fore the fire broke.

On the first day of its fire- fight­ing mis­sion, the pi­lot of the chopper had to change sev­eral spots to re­fill its bucket, af­ter pub­lic came too close to the spot. How­ever, the he­li­copter could re­fill from the pre­vi­ous spot near Cen­ten­nial Park yes­ter­day, as pub­lic were not al­lowed to get near.

It was ap­par­ent from the pre­vi­ous day that the wa­ter dropped from the chopper had helped dose off the fire on the ground. Yes­ter­day too, the chopper ser­vice was es­sen­tial to bat­tle. The bucket has a ca­pac­ity of 1,000 litres.

Had it not been for he­li­copter’s help, it would have been dif­fi­cult for us to con­trol the fire from catch­ing the houses and the nye said a fire fighter, who was vol­un­teer­ing near the house.

How­ever, af­ter putting con­trol at Sa­maz­ingkhag, he­li­copter had to again do sev­eral trips to­wards Sangaygang as smoke was seen from the same spot.

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