Incidents of fire have increased in the forest areas in Kanchanpur district, the district in the Far-west province.
Incidents of wildfire have been found increased this year compared to the previous year, the Division Forest Office Kanchanpur said. The drought condition and hot weather is attributed to the increase in the incidents of bushfire, it is said.
Timber worth hundreds of thousands of rupees has been destroyed due to the forest fires. The wildlife habitat has also been destroyed, pushing the wild animals to migrate towards the human settlements and exposing them to risk of killing by humans.
Division Forest Office information officer Shivaraj Awasthi said 99 per cent of the forest fires are caused by human negligence while only one per cent of the incidents are due to natural causes.
According to him, most of the wildfires are found to start from burning cigarette butts and matchsticks thrown by careless people including cattle herders and picnickers. Sometimes, the picnickers forget to put out the fire they have made to cook food which causes forest fires. The herders are also found to deliberately start fire in the forest.
"Last year forest fire had spread only on 150 hectares forest. This year wildfires have spread to 200 hectares so far. Incidents of forest fires might also rise as the dry summer season has not come to an end," he said.
Forest fires that have started in more than 30 community forests, the Laljhadi protected forest, the national forest area, Shuklaphanta National Park and forest areas in Chure region have caused extensive damage.
Teams comprising of community forest staff, police, Armed Police Force and local people are actively working to douse the fire.
Although teams are engaged in controlling the forest fires, this has been hampered due to lack of resources, firefighting equipment and the difficult terrain, especially in the Chure hill areas.
Source: National News Agency Nepal