The persistent wildfire in Darchula has not only destroyed forest areas, harming the animals and ecosystem therein, but has also turned archaeological artefacts into ashes in over a month.

Of the places such as Malikarjun Rural Municipality, Lekam Rural Muncipality, Mahakali Municipality, Shailyashikhar Municipality where the fire is enraging, Malikarjun RM and Shailyashikhar Municiplaity are sites with religious and touristic values. Malikarjun Dham is considered to be the seventh Dham of the country.

Fire at Raithan Shikhar Dhura of Malikarjun Dham has destroyed ancient archaeological artefacts such as Neja-Dwaja statues, along with Bheti (donations), which were offered by pilgrims, a local resident Krishna Singh Rawal shared.

It is believed that the fire might have been started by herdsmen that left a burning cigarette around while grazing their cattle in the forest as drought has dried up the lands.

According to the in-charge of Area Police Office Gokule, Khagendra Saud, locals also burn fire to clear out the dry leaves and to let new grass grow in case there is rainfall.

Police have been searching and punishing those involved in such activities and organising awareness programmes to control and minimise such fire related hazards, said Saud.

Currently, youths of Barmude of Shailyashikhar Municipality are trying to contain fire at their locality since two days, however, the fire is still enraging.