Increasing Trend of Forest Fires in Nepal

Increasing Trend of Forest Fires in Nepal

25 January 2010

Sundar Sharma, Coordinator, UNISDR Regional South Asia Wildland Fire Network

Nepal has experienced unprecedented increased wildfire incidents during the current (2009-2010) winter fire season. Winter season fires generally occur from mid-November to February and confined to the high altitude Hindu Kush Himalaya region.

54 fire incidences were reported only in 6 days from 8 to 13 January 2010 in the country (comparing that of only 1 fire in last season) (Figure 2) and mostly affected areas were Khaptad National Park (NP), Annapurna Conservation area (CA), Manaslu CA, Langtang NP, Dhor Patan Hunting Reserves, Shey-Phoksundo National Park and Kanchanjungha Conservation Area (Figure 1). According to the news reports, more than 3000 hectares forested areas were severely affected killing many wild animals though there was no human casualties or injuries reported.

Figure 1. Satellite image with locations of active fires in Nepal burning on 11 January 2009. Source: FIRMS-MODIS/UMD/NASA

The trend of fire occurrence is increasing (Figure 2). 26% of fire increased this year winter fire season compared to that of last year.

Figure 2. Comparison of daily fire incidence during the Winter fire season of 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. Data source: FIRMS-MODIS/UMD/NASA)

For information on severe fires in spring of 2009 in Nepal which involved large damages and fatalities of civilians and firefighters, see:

Fire Reports from Nepal in early 2009

At least seven people have died in raging wildfire in Myagdi and Panchthar districts.
(1 March,

A minor was burnt to death while three others sustained injuries in a wildfire that spread in Chilaune VDC of the district
(18 March,

Thirteen army personnel lost their lives in Ramechhap in Central Nepal on Thursday (April 23) while a soldier and four locals in Gulmi district in the western region were killed Saturday (April 25) when they were trying to extinguish wildfires, local media reported. Another person was reported killed Saturday in Dang district. Dozens of others have reportedly died this year due to fires.
(28 April,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien