BFD informed that firefighters cut a fire line over 5 kathas of land to prevent it from spreading further and were able to control the flames
A fire broke out at Chandpai range at the end of the Dhansagar Forest Station boundary of the Sundarbans East Zone under Sarankhola upazila at around 2pm on Monday.
The local office of the Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD) said that the Fire Service and Civil Defence, police, Forest Department along with local people brought the fire under control. It took 2 hours of frantic efforts to douse the fire. Grass in a large area has been burnt by the fire, according to Md Moinuddin Khan, chief conservator of Forests of Khulna region.
He also said upon receiving the news of the fire, the staff of Dhansagar Tahol Fari and members of the Co-Management Program (CPC) rushed to the spot to bring the fire under control and stop it from spreading inside the forest.
At the same time firefighters went there to extinguish the fire. Meanwhile, Moinuddin and the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Mohammad Belayet Hossain, went to the spot upon receiving news of the fire.
The fire did not cause any big damage to the forest or wildlife. A three-member investigation committee has been formed, with the Chandpai range ACF Enamul Hoque heading it, to find out the extent of forest damage and the onset of the fire.
A GD has also been filed with Sarankhola police station after the incident.
Dhansagar police station officer Faridul Islam said: "CPG member Solaiman Hossain called me around 2pm after seeing smoke in the forest. Later I went to the spot with CPG members, locals, and forest officials and tried to put out the fire locally. We also informed the fire service. They came and brought the fire under control. In the meantime, approximately 1,700sqft ( around 4 decimal) area was burnt 1km away from the Dhansagar police outpost. However, no large trees were burnt.
When asked about the cause of the fire, he said: "Initially, we think the fire may have started from a cigarette butt. Shortly before the fire broke out, I received information from the locals that a few young boys had come out of the forest.”
“We are looking into the matter,” he added.
SM Abdul Wadud, Station Officer of Sarankhola Fire Service Station, said: "We came to the spot after getting the news through the forest department … After trying for about two hours, we have been able to bring the fire under control. In fact, it was not possible to extinguish the fire completely, which led to split fires.”
Citing the locals, SM Abdul Wadud added that some youths entered the forest around afternoon. He assumes that they somehow started the fire.
DFO Mohammad Belayet Hossain said the fire had been completely extinguished. However, surveillance by the forest department in the area had been increased, he said.