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The Sundarbans did not catch fire, more may spread during the night



Published: 04 May 2024,

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The burning forest is covered in smoke. Intense heat on all sides. Photo taken at Latif’s Thila area of ​​Ammonia at 6:20 pm on Saturday: Daily Star News

The forest department has claimed that the Sundarban fire is under control. However, around 6:30 p.m. on the surface, fire and smoke coils were seen scattered in more than half a hundred places in the forest. As there was no light, the fire service could not start the work of controlling the fire by sprinkling water.

According to local eyewitnesses, around 10:30 am on Saturday morning, they saw a coil of smoke in the forest area adjacent to Amorbunia patrol post of Je Udara station in Chandpai range of Sundarban East Forest Division. Later, the forest department and local residents started working to control the fire with buckets and jugs.

The forest department was not clear on when, why and how the fire broke out in the largest mangrove forest area amid the intense heat wave. They say, fire control is the first task now. An inquiry committee will be formed to determine the cause of the fire and the damage.

However, some locals said that they think the fire started at least two days ago. The spot is quite far from the forest department office. The presence of wild animals including tigers is very high in that area. So people have less access. It is late to get the news.

Amorbia is a village in the southwest of Jiudhara Bazar in Morrelganj Upazila of Bagerhat. The Sundarbans is only after crossing the Bhola river that flows through the western side of the village. The forest area belongs to the Gambia patrol post of Je Udara station. After about two and a half kilometers along the small path (walking path inside the forest) on the south side of the outpost office, the flames were detected. Scattered fire and smoke were seen in several kilometers of Latif’s Chiha area there till evening. However, since the source of water (river) was far away, the fire service could not supply water there till evening. At night, the forest department and local people are returning from the forest.

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Even in the evening, scattered fires can be seen in more than half a hundred places. Around 6:30 am in Latif area of ​​Amorbunia Photo: Daily Star News

Morelganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) SM Tarek Sultan came to the scene in the afternoon after receiving the news of forest fire. The fire was reported to the Deputy Commissioner at quarter past four. He also informed the fire service and reached the spot. UNO said, “Here I saw that the fire is quite extensive. The fire service arrived but could not start work with their pump machine as the place was quite inaccessible. Everyone is working together to control the fire.

Deputy Assistant Director of Fire Service and Civil Defense (Bagerhat). Saidul Alam Chowdhury told Daily Star News that two units of Morrelganj and Mongla Fire Service reached the spot after receiving the information about the fire. They will start work tomorrow morning due to the darkness of night and the danger of wild animals in the forest.

The fire is likely to spread more at night

While going to the burning area around 5:30 in the afternoon, monkeys and wild roosters were seen running in the middle of the forest. At this time they were running around and shouting.

In the area where the fire occurred, various types of vines including sundari, bine, gewa, gin, and singra are more abundant. Meanwhile, several forests have been burnt. To prevent the fire from spreading, the forest department along with the local people moved some piles of leaves but could not cut a deep fire line. Local residents say that since the fire line was cut and water could not be supplied, the fire would spread further during the night.


Fire service members are going to the spot by crossing Bhola river in Sundarbans. Saturday afternoon photo: Daily Star News

Talked in the forest with Shahidul Faraji of the local Madhya Amorbunia village. He told Daily Star News

, ‘After hearing the news in the morning, we entered the forest with the foresters, pitchers and buckets. I have been working since then. But could not extinguish the fire. still burning It burns from.

Mahidul Howladar, a member of the local Village Conservation Forum (VCF), however, claimed that the fire broke out a few days ago. He said that the fire broke out at least a day or two ago. Now spreading. The fire is spreading in at least 5 bigha areas. No big fire now. But in the air it can quickly spread over a wider area.

Kazi Muhammad Nurul Karim, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Sundarban East Forest Division said, after receiving the information, various units of the forest department, community patrolling group (CPG), village tiger response team (VRT) and local residents, men and women, together we control the fire. is working The fire is under control. The fire service has arrived. But they could not start the work as it was getting late and the water source Bhola river was far away.


Amorbia patrol post of Je Udara station in Sundarban East Forest Division’s Chang Pai Range Photo: Daily Star News said, “There is no need to panic about the fire.” It is not certain how the fire started. Our first duty now is to bring the fire under control and extinguish it. After that a committee will be made to investigate. We will be able to give the details after the investigation. DFO Nurul Karim did not immediately agree to say anything about the spread of the fire or how much area was burnt.

Morrelganj upazila Nishanbaria Union Parishad (UP) member of Ward number 8. Abu Taher Mia told Prothom Alo that there was a fire in a large area. The fire is spreading at least three kilometers. Everyone is trying. But as it seems, it is difficult to stop the fire. Burning from below the ground. Fire spreads quickly due to dry leaves. If the wind increases, the fire may spread further.



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