Joint effort for fire prevention awareness campaign

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By Bishnu Prasad Pokharel,Damak, Apr. 21: Jhapa police have initiated an awareness campaign aimed at fire prevention, after the surge in fire incidents in different parts of the country. This campaign targets high-risk areas prone to fires, including squatter settlements.

The fire awareness programme has been conducted in Haldibari Rural Municipality, specifically in Sukumbasi Tole Ward No. 2, and other surrounding areas, said the police. Ramesh Kumar Pant, Assistant Police Inspector of Haldibari Police Station, said that the gathered locals were provided with information about fire prevention measures.

Krishna Kumar Chand, Spokesperson of the District Police Office, Jhapa, highlighted the launch of a community-police partnership programme, alongside awareness initiatives targeted at drug and fire control will help the local communities to reduce the occurrence of fire incidents. 

He said that these campaigns aim to mitigate potential damage and risks of fires within the community. Daily fire incidents are inflicting significant damage in the district. Many of these fires are attributed to inattention and carelessness. While some incidents are labeled as electrical shorts, the exact cause remains undisclosed. The focus of the programme was on preventive measures rather than solely identifying the cause of the fire.

Meanwhile, our correspondent from Rukum West Raju Lamichhane reported that a collaborative effort has been initiated to control forest fires in Rukum West, where incidents of fires are occurring every day during the dry months. 

The District Forest Protection Committee recently concluded a two-day training programme focused on forest fire management. The Coordinator of the Committee and Chief District Officer Hari Prasad Pant said that the programme took place on Friday and Saturday at the district headquarters in Musikot.

During the first day of the programme, various sessions covering theoretical topics were conducted, followed by a practical joint exercise on forest fire control on the second day. The exercise took place at Salle in Musikot Municipality-1.

The sessions covered topics such as forest fire dynamics, its impacts, and control measures, while the practical aspect focused on fire control exercises.

More than 50 individuals, including members of the Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police, City Police of Musikot Municipality, Forest Guards, and employees took part in the programme. 

Mayor of Musikot Municipality Mahendra K.C., Chief District Officer Hari Prasad Pant, heads of security agencies in the district, Chairman of Nepal Red Cross Society Rama Gautam, Divisional Forest Officer of the Division Forest Office Sher Bahadur Pariyar, and other individuals have attended the programme.

With the arrival of the dry season, fire incidents are becoming a daily occurrence. According to Pariyar, there has been a recent surge in forest fires, particularly in the community forest areas of the district. Given the frequency of these incidents, locals have been urged to remain calm and vigilant.

He said that there have been over 30 fire incidents in the past month alone. These fires have inflicted significant damage on the wildlife and plant species inhabiting the area.

Pariyar highlighted that the primary cause of the fires was the practice of burning old straws in the hope of promoting grass growth. Apart from that, fires are sparked by careless disposal of cigarette butts, children playing with fire and rocks falling in steep forested areas.

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