Wildfire rages in Panchthar

Wildfire rages in Panchthar

22 March 2010

published by www.myrepublica.com

Nepal —  Wildfire in Subhang, Panchthar, has destroyed more than 30 hectares of national forest within the past one week.

The fire has spread to Ward No 1, 2 and 3 of Subhang VDC and has even threatened houses in the vicinity of the forest. Four households have already been displaced from Damaidanda.

Families of Shukra Raj Yokpangden, Samjhana Shiva, Man Kumar Pariyar, Raj Kumar Pariyar and Tek Bahadur Pariyar are currently living with relatives after their abodes were gutted.

The fire had started from Soshulung by the side of Tamor river in Subhang-2. “I can see the fire spreading. It has threatened houses near the forest,” Shiva Maya Mishra of Subhang-2 said over the phone. Mishra said the fire can displace many households in Ward No 3, if it is not controlled on time.

Locals claim the fire has already destroyed vegetation and wildlife. They say the fire spread fast due to the latex of dry pine trees. “We have failed to control the fire due to the latex of pine trees. It (fire) reaches top of the tree even if we douse at the ground level,” said Chief of District Forest Office Ganesh Karki.

Police and local administration claimed that the fire was under control after efforts from seven policemen from Subhang and 17 from District Police Office. “The fire is already under control. Who told otherwise?” questioned Chief District Officer of Panchthar Dullu Raj Basnet.

But locals beg to differ. “The police team didn´t even enter the jungle. They just observed the gutted houses and returned,” Mishra said.

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