Even in 32 hours, the Sundarbans fire has not been brought under control

Even after two days, the fire in the Sundarbans is still raging strong. On Sunday, May 5, we canceled the events due to low light and water levels. The fire service and forest department said there is no longer any concern about a new fire spreading, even though the current one is not entirely out of control. Nonetheless, there is still some smoke in the forest fire-affected area. To eliminate any risk, work will restart on Monday morning.

At five o’clock on Sunday night, the forest department, the fire service, and their affiliated organizations and administration finished fighting the fire.

Many people observed the fire on Saturday, May 4, in the Amorbunia Toll Fencing region of the Jiodhara Station in the Chandpai Range of the East Sundarbans Forest Department. After that, the locals, volunteers, and the forest department began working on fire suppression. On the first day, however, the fire department was unable to begin operations. The Coast Guard, the navy, volunteers, the fire department, and the forest department joined forces on Sunday morning.

At midday, the air force began using a helicopter to drop water on the scene. Army personnel will join them on Monday, according to the fire service.

The deputy director of Fire Service and Civil Defence (Bagerhat), Mohammad Saidul Alam Chowdhury, stated, “We have cordoned off the fire,” adding that there is no concern about the fire spreading to other regions. Amid the forest, the fire had spread to a distance of roughly 1.5 kilometers. We’ve cut fire lines all around it. The fire is still blazing at the end of the day since we are unable to get water to put it out at night. Despite the possibility of snakes and wild animals, work proceeded as usual today. We have decided to resume work on Monday, starting at 5 a.m.

Firefighters cut fire lines early in the morning to stop the fire from spreading to other places. The fire department then adds water to stop the fire from spreading.

A fire line in the forest has reportedly expanded over nearly four acres, according to the forest department. When we first arrived on the scene, we noticed that the majority of the areas within the fire line had already burned. We have sprayed water over the burning portions all day.

The forest department believes that at least 4 acres of forest land have burned. They haven’t, however, made a clear comment on the subject.

According to forest conservator (CF) Mihir Kumar Do of the Khulna region, “cutting fire lines is actually the most effective method of controlling forest fires.” That is, digging a trench outward from the fire’s center in all directions to help control it inside a predetermined area. This task begins early in the morning. In the morning, we complete cutting the fire lines. Next, we apply water to the areas affected by the fire. At this point, we have completely contained the fire. There’s no concern that it may spread to other places. This area has a lot of dry leaves; therefore, the task of supplying water will not end. 

The Sundarbans Forest Department’s East Division has temporarily banned the pass-permit (license to enter the forest) for forest inhabitants at Jiudhara station in the Chandpai range following the arson incident. The divisional forest officer (DFO) of the forest department’s East Division, Kazi Muhammad Nurul Karim, has temporarily suspended the passes and permits here until the situation is under control.

Committee for Investigation

The Sundarbans East Forest Division has formed an investigative committee, led by assistant forest conservator Ranadeb of the Chandpai Range in the Sundarbans, to determine the cause and extent of the fire occurrence. The Sundarbans East Forest Division has given the committee seven working days to submit their investigative report.

Many of the trees and vines in the burned-out woodland region had turned to ash. There are several national trees and vines, including Sundari, Bain, Gewa, Jin, and Singra. Ash now covers the ground below the burned area. From there, the temperature rises. It’s hard to breathe in the heat and smoke. Even the trees’ verdant leaves have dried out from the fire below. Now the ashes are covered with dry leaves.

Following the news of the fire on Saturday, you could hear the calls of numerous birds as you entered the forest in the evening, along with monkeys, pythons, wild chickens, and other wild creatures. But from Sunday morning until Sunday afternoon, there were no sounds of animals or birds in that woodland.