SRI LANKA – COLOMBO (News 1st):- The incidents of forest fires are widely reported at present. Two such incidents were reported yesterday (February 8) as well.
Singamale forest reserve
The first incident was when a fire broke out at the Singamale forest reserve last night. According to our correspondent, about 25 acres have been destroyed in the fire.
The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. The Hatton fire brigade had been able to douse the fire as of now.
Rambukkana and Alagalla
Meanwhile, a number of fires have also been reported in the Rambukkana and Alagalla mountain areas. Around 10 acres were burnt by the fires. Residents say that this type of fires are frequent in the area.
The fire has been doused with the help of Police, Army and Navy personnel and residents in the area
Forest destruction due to fires has become a serious problem in some regions in Sri Lanka, especially in areas like Beragala, Haputale of the Badulla District. According to the Disaster Management Center, Sri Lanka experiences nearly 50 to 200 cases of forest fires every year. 673 forest fires were reported in the years between 2016 to 2019. According to the Department of Forest Conservation, 5619 hectares of land have been destroyed due to the fire as of now.
Environmentalist, Sajeewa Chamikara speaking to News 1st on the matter said:
“To prevent forest fires many countries in the world uses precautionary principles. A number of measures are being taken to prevent the spread of fires, mainly through community involvement and various technical strategies to prevent fires. It is particularly important to take measures to eradicate these forest fires through a coordinated process within the community and the state apparatus. But the problem is that in Sri Lanka, the allocation of funds and preparing mechanisms is not done properly.”