Forest fires raging across country

Forest fires raging across country

24 April 2012

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Nepal — KATHMANDU – The country on Tuesday saw the highest incidents of forest fires so far this year.

The satellite images released by the US-based National Aeron-autics and Space Administration (NASA) on Wednesday showed active fire locations in 159 forest areas of the country within 24 hours. On Monday, NASA images showed 141 bushfires during the same period.

“This might be the peak time for fire incidents for this season. However, the rise in the mercury might give rise to more devastating forest fires across the country,” Sundar Prasad Sharma, the coordinator at the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction-South Asia Wildland Fire Network, said on Tuesday.

The satellite images showed that the southern belt of Hindu-Kush Hima laya region is covered with smokes emanating from vegetation fires, which have adverse impact on the region’s climate.

As wildfires are raging between forest areas and human settlements, they pose threats to the local communities and can cause huge loss of lives and properties, Sharma said.

“The people living near the settlement interface should be on high alert,” he said, adding that the government should issue ‘fire alert’ to the general public for two more weeks.

The third week of April is the peak point for forest fires and that this month alone amounts for around 83 percent of the total annual fire cases.

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