Zimbabwe –Veld fires last week inflicted substantial damage to indigenous forests and pastures in the wildlife rich Gwayi Conservency in Matabeleland North province.
The fire which is believed to have been started by poachers is also said to have killed wild animals in the area.
“The fire started on Tuesday night near Sikhumi Logde. We suspect the fire was started by poachers who wanted to drive the animals away from the conservancies to unsafe spots where they could kill the animals.During summer season we normally exprience this problem,” said Charles Ndlovu , a safari operator in the area whose property was also partly damaged by the fire.
Radio VOP news crew last Friday witnessed some of the ravaging inferno along the Lupane /Hwange highway.
Wildlife animals like baboons and monkeys could be seen scurrying for safer areas like rocks and caves.
Most parts of the country continue to exprience veld fires during this time of the season. Discarded lit materials like cigarette stubs and logs have been blamed for causing veld fire outbreaks in most cases.
In the past, uncontrolled fires have also caused damages to timber plantations and property destruction.
For example over 10 925 350 and 11 504 945 hectares of land were destroyed by veld fires during the year 2004. The following year, Zd 1,5 trillion worthy of timber was destroyed by veld fires in Manicaland province.