By Madhusudhan Timalsina, Kavre, Apr. 16: Fires destroyed 933 hectares of forest areas in Kavrepalanchok district. According to the Division Forest Office, Kavre, 54 forest areas have caught fire since the last two months.
Nhuchche Krishna Shrestha, Information Officer at the Division Forest Office, Kavre, said that the district started registering cases of forest fires from the first week of February.
“The number of fires has drastically increased in many parts of the district this year as compared to the last year primarily because of inclement weather,” he said.
According to the office, 279 hectares of forest in four community forests were set ablaze in Khanikhola Rural Municipality. Likewise, fire broke out twice in 60 and 120 hectares of Pharlek Dharapani Community Forest and Golme Community Forest in ward No. 5.
Barandanda Community Forest and Dobhan Deupal Community Forest in ward No. 7 were also not spared burning over 59 and 40 hectares respectively.
Similarly, the relentless inferno burned 249 hectares in Bethanchowk Municipality, 50 hectares of national forest area in Ward No. 5 and 6 of Bethanchowk in its wake.
In addition, 50 hectares of Bethanchowk Narayansthan Community Forest and 45 hectares of Narayansthan Community Forest have also burnt.
According to the office, the fire quickly spread across several other forests including 164 hectares in Bhumlu, 78 hectares in Chaurideurali, 62 hectares in Mandandeupur, 33 hectares in Mahabharat, 25 hectares in Panauti and 16 hectares in Namobuddha.
Out of the total area of 140,486 hectares of Kavre district, 39,565 hectares are covered by the forests.
The fire broke out in an area of 1,228 hectares in the fiscal year 2072/73 B.S., according to the office.
Similarly, 112 hectares were burnt in the fiscal year 2073/74 and only 93 hectares in the fiscal year 2074/75. Similarly, no fire broke out in the forests of the district in the fiscal years 2075-76 and 2076-2077, according to the Division Forest Office, Kavre.
The District Disaster Management Committee has stated that the fire has been brought under control with active participation from security agencies, local body representatives, Division Forest Office and locals.
Coordinator of the District Disaster Management Committee and Chief District Officer Shiva Ram Pokharel informed that arrangements have been made for fire lines, management of water ponds and fire brigade in the district to control the fire.