A fire broke out at Lawachhara Reserve Forest in Kamalganj upazila of Moulvibazar on Saturday.
Locals said the fire broke out when some workers were working in the students’ dormitory part of Lawachara forest to clear weeds for planting fruit trees for wild animals. The fire broke out at 12:00pm.On information, a firefighting unit from Kamalganj Fire Service rushed to the spot but they were facing difficulty in reaching the site as there were no streets to reach the spot. The firefighters also did not get water to douse the fire, said Md Nurul Islam, Kamalganj fire service’s station officer.
The fire was brought under control around 3:00pm, he added.
The fire official said, “I think the workers might have lit cigarettes or someone set fire to the area on purpose. The reason could be known after investigation.”
Locals suspect that a vested group intentionally started the fire to grab land of the forest.
Divisional forest officer Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said, investigation is underway in this regard.
A team led by Forest Beat Officer Mizanur Rahman of the Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division was present at the scene to assess the damage and investigate the cause of the fire.According to officials and sources, the fire caused substantial damage to the small trees and biodiversity of the Lawachara forest as at least 1.5 acres of forest land were burnt in the fire.
Meanwhile, a two-member probe body led by Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Officer Mirza Mehdi has been formed to investigate the incident. The committee has been asked to submit a report within two days.