Sri Lanka — A bush fire in Opanayaka destroyed around eight acres of forest yesterday.
Police said the fire broke out at around 10 am yesterday and it was doused by around 3 pm though the spreading was controlled by 12 noon yesterday.
The villagers together with the Fire Brigade worked towards dousing the fire.
Meanwhile the Disaster Management Centre said the fire had arisen due to the heavy drought in the area that has been prevailing for a month.
Disaster Management Centre Ratnapura District Coordinator Col. M. Abeyrathna told Daily Mirror that areas including the Northern side of Balangoda, Elanpola and Palangoda were affected by this drought.
He explained that the people in these areas have been burning the forests in the area to trap wild animals in order to kill them. There have been grass cutting in a large scale by people to feed cows.
There have also been instances where people have been setting fire to shrubs for the fun of it.
All these activities have led to drying of natural water resources in the area thus creating a shortage of drinking water, he said.
According to the Disaster Management Centre arrangements have been made to distribute water through bowsers with the support of the Divisional Secretaries in the area.