DR Pant, The Kathmandu Post, 31 May 2018
Wildfires are raging through several forests, protected areas and bio-corridors in Kailali district, destroying local flora and fauna on their paths.
The district’s assistant forest officer Bhim Prasad Dhakal said on Tuesday that wildfires were raging in Mohana bio-corridor and the forests in Basanta, Karnali, Chure and Bhawar areas.
“More than 500 hectares of forest cover has been destroyed so far,” Dhakal said.
In Kailali, there is no mechanism in place to control forest fires.
The district forest authority organises public awareness campaigns every now and then, but they are hardly effective. Kailali has been losing thousands of hectares of forest cover to wildfires every year.
Dandiraj Subedi, the district secretary of Federation of Community Forests Users’ Nepal, said they were facing difficulties controlling the forest fires due to lack of resources.
“We lack the resource and technology to effectively combat wildfires that have been causing us a colossal loss every year,” he said.
According to the records at the District Forest Office, Kailali lost around 25,000 hectares of forest cover to wildfires last year alone.
There are 524 community forests in the district.