Locals claim that the concerned authorities have yet to take any action to contain wildfires in the district


The wildfires that started a week ago has spread to 293 hectares of forest area in Bajura until Monday afternoon.

According to the Forest Division Office, Bajura, the fires have destroyed majority of forest areas in the district, inflicting irreversible damage to local flora and fauna, herbs, trees, and habitats of the local wild animals and birds.

The forest fire is yet to be brought under control, informed Shubhar Chanda Ayedi, acting chief at the district's Forest Division Office.

The wildfire has dealt the most damage to Bheralmandau Community Forest in Badimalika Municipality-1 of the district, informed Ayedi. The fire gutted 120 hectares of the community forest, he added.

Similarly, fire has also spread to 60 hectares of Salleni Community Forest, 50 hectares of Jalpa Janashakti Agriculture Community Forest in Badimalika-2, two hectares of Kosyada Community Forest, and gutted 2.5 hectares of area in Khirida Bhujantola Community forest of Badimalika-7.

While a vast swathe of forest areas in the district have been destroyed in the wildfire, the local authorities including forest offices are accused of staying mum on the issue of containing the fire.

Locals have claimed that the authorities have yet to take any action to control the spreading of wildfire. Despite large areas of four community forests being engulfed by forest fire in the district, the Forest Division Office and District Administration Office are only witnessing the tragedy, accused local Lalit Rawal.

Negligence of the community forest consumers' committee and lack of interest on the part of concerned authorities have caused the fire to continue its grip in the area, claimed the locals.

The increasing instances of forest fire have also increased the risk to human settlements near the forest areas, locals stated.

Photo: Prakash Singh/ THT
Photo: Prakash Singh/ THT

Photo: Prakash Singh/ THT
Photo: Prakash Singh/ THT