Wildfire smoke poses health hazards

Dhangadi, May 3

Locals of Doti and Dadeldhura are suffering from smoke related diseases with excessive dust and smoke from the wildfires that have spread from different places of the districts.

A massive wildfire that spread to different forest areas of both districts has yet to be brought under control after a week. Thick billowing smoke has covered the sky.

“Visibility in the affected areas is poor,” said Bikram Saud, a local of Dipayal. He said the air was covered with dust and smoke due to continuous wildfires in different forest areas of both the districts.

Health workers of the districts said more and more patients suffering from eye and respiratory problems and skin diseases caused by air pollution were visiting the health facilities for treatment on a daily basis.

Suraj Baldar, assistant at Eye Treatment Centre of District Hospital, Doti, said patients complaining of eye burn and dry eyes, among others, had increased at the centre after various incidents of wildfire in different forest areas of the district.

Min Kumar Aryal of Department of Hydrology and Meteorology and Department of Weather Forecasting, Kathmandu, said the number of patients suffering from various air-borne diseases had increased across the country. “The west is suffering much more due to the wildfires.”