Wildfires affect 40 percent of Kailali’s forest cover in 10 days

Kathmandu , May 21st 2019

Forest fires that started in mid-May in Kailali district are yet to come under control. Around 400 places have been affected by forest fires and 40 percent of the district’s forest cover (around 60,000 hectares) has been lost so far, according to Division Forest Office.

Ram Chandra Kandel, division office chief, said that they were facing difficulty containing the raging wildfires.

“Controlling the forest fires at Mohanyal and Chure rural municipalities in the Chure area have been particularly taxing because of steep terrain,” he said. “Seventy percent of the National Forest Areas have been affected by this year’s forest fire.”

Wildfires are also spreading in Musariya, Chaumala, Chure Bhawar, Basanta. Urma, Kanari and Devariya.

The forest office has claimed that most of the forest fires in the district were caused due to human negligence.

Since 2005, the country has been losing around 200,000 hectares of forest area to forest fires annually. The country witnessed one of the worst wildfires in 2016, when nearly 1.3million hectares of forest area was destroyed.

In 1990, Nepal’s total forest cover accounted for 45.4 percent. By 2000, the country’s total forest cover declined to 39.6 percent.

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