A massive gas well blowout fire has burned in India’s Assam state for 150 days, destroying lives and causing untold health and ecological damage. “My children will have to grow up without a photograph of their father,” Labanya Saikia, a single mother of three whose home and shop were burned, told the BBC. Three people have died fighting to contain the fire, and at least 3,000 were forced from their homes to shelter in makeshift camps. In mid-August, an official from the state-run Oil India Limited (OIL) said “experts and engineers expected to … douse the blaze at any moment.”

“The heat, smoke and the gushing sound have made the area a hazardous place. Many locals are complaining of health complications such as anxiety, migraine, loss of appetite and burning eyes,” local journalist Nawantik Urang told the BBC. Flaring has been linked with numerous health harms, including making preterm births more likely. The fire is burning about 3 kilometers from “several crucial biodiversity zones” in Assam state, according to a local government expert who spoke to the BBC on the condition of anonymity, contradicting the official line that environmental impacts will be minimal. (BBC, India Today)