| March 20, 2019

Forest fires happening on daily basis in Parbat

PARBAT, May 1: Over 1,000 hectares of forest in Parbat district have already been destroyed by infernos as the incidents of forest fires are continuously on rise every day.

"We do not have exact record, but we can safely say that we have already lost over 1,000 hectares, out of the total 19,997 hectares of forest areas, to the forest fires recently," said Kishor Sapkota, chairman of the district's community forest consumer committee.
Although the committee, District Forest Office, District Police Office (DPO), and the District Administration Office have records of forest fires taking place on a particular day, they have not collected data on the total areas destroyed by forest infernos.

"We are busy with cases of forest fires and controlling them almost on a daily basis," said Sapkota. "The incidents of forest fires have increased this year than the last year. Over 60 cases of forest fires have already been recorded so far this year. Such increment could have long-term effect if we are not careful," he added.

Krishna Bahadur Thapa, chief of Chandi Battalion of Armed Police Force, says that dousing forest fires has kept them occupied. "Most of our times are spent dousing forest fires that take place on a daily basis," he said.

Chief District Officer Jhanka Nath Dhakal said that the cases of forest fires have increased despite growing awareness. "People intentionally set forests on fire, hence we are facing difficulties. We would take stern action against those who are found guilty," added the CDO.

According to CDO Dhakal, every community forest in the district has been made aware about the long-term effects of forest fires. "We have directed them to stay alert."