Ravaging forest fire out of control in Nepal

   Ravaging forest fire out of control in Nepal

30 April 2009

published by news.xinhuanet.com

Nepal — The ravaging wild forest fire in Nepal has become more and more calamitous as the country lacks resources to control it.

The fire has already affected 50,000 hectares of land in 37 districts which is still spreading in other parts of the country, Krishna Candra Paudel, Director General of the Department of Forest told Xinhua on Thursday.

“Generally there are two types of forest fire, ground fire and crown fire. Our forests have been caught of both types, that is the reason it is being tougher to control,” said Paudel, adding that Nepal lacks resources to control such ravaging fire across the nation.

The fire is especially raging at pine forest, and dry pine needle are helping fire to reach at top of the trees

According to him, the department lacks enough tools and equipment to control the wild fire. “We do not have back pack water tank sprayer, carbon dioxide cylinder,” said Paudel.

Besides of this, there are severe difficulties in transportation because of the fluctuous geographical emergence of the country and the fire fighting difficulties, he added.

“We obviously need helicopters to control crown fire and it is still very hard to reach all these tools immediately,” said Paudel.

Paudel termed climate change as the ultimate cause of forest fire in Nepal for the first time.

“We haven’t had this sort of case before, this is the first time that Nepal is facing such wild forest fire damaging vast area of land,” Paudel said.

However, army personnel, Nepal Police staff, local people among others are joining their hands to control the fire though it seems inadequate compare to the nature of extensive damage it had made.

According to him, the prolonged drought, local people’s free movement in the forest and act of poaching are the assisting factors of forest fire.

The ravaging fire also affected some 600 hectares of land in six national parks killing and displacing wild animals, affecting biodiversity, according to Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC).

The impact of the ongoing forest fire will later result in respiratory diseases, high temperature, health hazard, loss of biodiversity among others.

“If the situation lasts for two more years then, it will certainly convert greenery of Nepal into desert,” said Laxmi Prasad Manandhar, conservation education officer at the DNPWC.

However, the government is running awareness program in 27 districts to prevent such abrupt calamity, Paudel said.

Paudel also requested the government to include forest sector in national priority list since the damage can peril the atmosphere.

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