Published: Wednesday 31 January 2001

-- A forest fire destroyed 121 hectares of pine forest in Bhutan's Thimphu district. Forest officials say that the fire started in an apple orchard where a 17-year-old schoolboy was burning papers. Due to strong winds, the fire caught on to the dry bushes and spread into the forest. The fire has since been contained. "But the threat has not subsided," says Kelzang Tshering, a range officer. "There is still a high risk of another flare-up because of the onset of the dry winter when forest fires become a regular sight all over the country," Tshering added. The schoolboy will be tried in court after the damages are assessed.

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