THE National Forestry Authority (NFA) has lost 12 acres of pine tree forest valued at Shs160 million due to a fire set off by unknown people.
The range manager for Budongo forest system, Mr Robert Esimu, told journalists on December 22 that Nyakunyu forest in Biizi village, Nyangahya Sub-county in Masindi district was set ablaze by unknown people on Tuesday afternoon. He said NFA rangers and police were investigating the cause of the fire and who actually lit it.
But I suspect it was lit by hunters, herdsmen or ill hearted people, he said. Esimu said the wind could have helped to spread the fire across the 12 acres. We underestimated the fire risk during this month. We anticpated the fire would be serious in the month of January or February, he said.
He said measures had been put in place to check fire outbreaks. For instance the forestry authority had organised meetings with local people residing near the forests and sensitised them about the dangers of bush burning. NFA would organise radio talk shows to further sensitise the public. This is the second time the same forest is getting burnt this year, the first time being in January