There is increasing incidences and vulnerabilities of forest fires imposing serious threats to lives and properties, destruction and degradation of valuable forests in Nepal every year. Uncontrolled forest fires in 2009 fire season alone toll to 43 death of people (including Army personnel, community fire fighters and general public) and 9 persons to serious injuries and destroying hundreds of thousands of hectares of national forests particularly to community forests, government managed forests, national parks and reserves. Casualties are mainly due to the fighting fires without appropriate tools and techniques.
There is lack of local and national capability to deal with forest fires. Moreover, people are fighting fires without proper hand tools (see the pictures above). It has serious implication to the fire fighters’ safety and efficiency of the efforts.
Therefore, development and distribution of simple hand tools at the local level is extremely important and necessary.
2. Types of Fire Fighting Hand Tools, Equipments and Safety Gears
Following or similar types of local hand tools can be developed/ purchased from respective manufacturers and distributed to the community-based fire fighting groups through District Forest Offices / Conservation Area Offices.
Total Weight: 2 kg Length of handle: 1.5 m Length of flaps: 300mm ± 20mm Width of flaps: 50-80 mm (prefer 75 mm) No. of flaps: 4-6 (prefer 4) Material (Flap): Rubber and cotton thread casting or equivalent.
Weight: 2 kg Length of handle: (1.0-1.3) m Width of metal head: 30 cm; Inner Angle: 800 No. of Teeth: 4
Weight: 1.5 kg Length of handle: (80-90) cm Metal Head: Length:23 cm Width: 20 cm No. of Teeth: 3-6
Weight: 1.2 kg Length of handle: (70-75) cm Metal Head: Total Length: 30cm Hoe angle: 80°
Indian type Length of handle: 85cm Metal head: Length: 30 cm Width: 23 cm
Yellowcolor fabric cotton.
Backpack Pump (Water Bag) (US-Forestry Suppliers or similar)
Fire proof (soft lather or cotton)
First Aid medicines
Honda 3.5 HP
Hose Reel with Roller
Torch (or head torch or similar)
4WD Pick-up assembled with fire fighting tools and equipments (GFMC Picture)