Sri Lanka –-Eleven forest fires had erupted during the past 10 days destroying thousands of acres of forest cover, Disaster Management Centre Deputy Director of Media Sarath Lal Kumara told the Daily News yesterday.
He said forest areas including the forest reserves have become highly vulnerable to forest fires due to the adverse dry weather in these areas.
He said destructive activities of the people was the reason behind forest fires. Kumara said a minor fire spreads fast over a large area due to the extreme dry weather, adding that the DMC had to make effort to control these fires from spreading and to extinguish during last week. He said the assistance of Police, Air Force and Local Government Authorities had to be sought to extinguish these forest fires.
These 11 forest fires during the past 10 days had erupted in Badulla, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Moneragala and Kandy districts.
The 11th forest fire which broke out on Wednesday night in Passara, Badulla destroyed over 500 acres. The DMC in coordination with other stakeholders helped control the fires. He requested the public to support DMC efforts to protect the forests which is a national asset of the country.
He urged the people not to set fire to forests.
Kumara said forests nurture water retention areas and have a drastic impact on animals.
“Forest fires intensify the dry conditions in these forests,” Kumara said.