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Although 24 hours have passed, the fire at compartment no. 24 of the eastern part of the Sundarbans has not yet been completely extinguished. The fire that broke out in the Sundarbans for the second time in three months, is said to have spread to two acres area near Daser Bharani patrol outpost in the Sharankhola range of the forest.

Hundreds of locals and the forest department people started cutting a fire line after spotting a ring of smoke in the forest near the Daser Bharani patrol outpost. Members of the Fire service joined them in the afternoon. However, they could not reach water there before evening as the spot was remote.

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Three units of fire service, members of seven outposts near the forest department, Community Patrol groups (CPG) along with the workers from the station and local people started working to extinguish the fire on Tuesday morning.

The fire service has started sprinkling water by pumping water from Bhola river which is three kilometers away from the spot.

Md Joynal Abedin, assistant conservator of forests (ACF) of Sharankhola range of the Sundarbans (east), told Prothom Alo in the morning that a fire line has been cut surrounding the area. Fire service men also has started sprinkling water. Some day-labourers have also been hired to extinguish the fire.

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However, he could not confirm how long the fire line is or how much of the forest area is still under the blaze? Joynal Abedin claimed that the fire has been brought under control. "There is smoke in some places, but we are sprinkling water there."

Deputy assistant director of Bagerhat fire service, Md Golam Sarwar told Prothom Alo that they have started working since Tuesday morning. It is difficult to work there as the spot is remote and the source of the water is far away from that place.

However, he said the fire would be completely extinguished by Tuesday.

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Meanwhile, the forest department has formed a probe committee led by Sharankhola range’s ACF Joynal Abedin to assess the amount of loss and find out the source of the fire on Monday evening. The other two members of the committee are - Dhansagar station officer Faridul Islam and Sharankhola station officer Abdul Mannan.

The committee has been asked to submit the probe report within seven working days to the divisional forest officer (DFO). It has been learned that this committee will start working after the fire is completely brought under control.

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