NEPAL – KATHMANDU (Xinhua) — The winter coupled with the drought for the last few months has triggered wildfires in different parts of Nepal along the Himalayan range.
The forest fire in Annapurna Conservation Area in Manang district that started on Nov. 26 is yet to put out. The fire in the bushes in the district’s Tachai area has destroyed hundreds of hectares of the forest in the mountainous region.
“At least 700 hectares of the area has been destroyed in the wildfire,” Bishnu Lamichhane, chief district officer in Manang, told Xinhua. “Our attempt to extinguish the fire has failed.”
The wildfire has spread in the area along the Marsyangdi and Dudh Khola rivers. Lamichhane said they have prepared fire lines by removing the vegetation and dried leaves which can catch fire in efforts to stop the further spread of the wildfire.
“We are waiting for the weather’s mercy,” he said. “The fire would end if there’s rainfall or snowfall.”
Not only in Manang, hundreds of hectares of the forest in Kalinchowk in Taplejung district were destroyed in fire last month. The local administration used a helicopter to disperse water in order to bring the wildfire there under control.
The fire in Gatlang area in Rasuwa district in the Langtang conservation area has also destroyed the vegetation in a large scale. Similarly, a forest area in Kaski near the Machhapuchhre mountain range too saw a huge forest fire recently.
Government officials said forest fires are often seen in the winter and dry season in Nepal, which cause huge loss of flora and fauna along with human lives and their property.
“We don’t have equipment and resources to douse the forest fires,” Prakash Lamsal, spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests and Environment, said. “All we have to depend on is the rain or snowfall for it.” Enditem