Knuckles fire, exaggerated – Police

Knuckles fire, exaggerated – Police

12 July 2008

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Sri Lanka — Uda Dumbara Police scotched rumours and new stories that hundreds of acres of forest in the Knuckles region had been burnt following a forest fire which started on Thursday afternoon (July 10th).

Police said that only around 5 to 10 acres had been burnt as a result of this fire which originated at a place called Kahatagalla at the foot of the Knuckles range which is close to the forest office and a village.

Police also said that a Virgin and Montane forests were not affected by this fire. Since this particular area is close to the village all what was burnt were some Pinus trees and Maana grassland.

The police along with forest officers had a difficult task in dousing this fire as the terrain was steep and inaccessible by vehicle. They had to use primitive methods in putting out this fire.

The forest officers did the most appropriate thing under the circumstances to control this fire by cutting a ‘fire belt’ around which effectively prevented the fire from spreading to the Virgin forests which is one of the treasures of this country having many plant and arrival live which is indigenous to our land.

The cause of the fire is still not known but the fire fighters had a difficult task in their hands as their operations were made more difficult by the strong winds and this is the dry season for that area. But both police and the forest officers did a magnificent job by controlling the fire by about 90 per cent at the time of writing.

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