Prevent forest fires
Forest fires are considered as a major and permanent threat for the forests of Bhutan. Every year, forest fires cause enormous and irreparable damage to forest ecosystems and in some cases threaten residential regions. There are many factors that contribute to an increased fire risk in Bhutan are prolonged winter periods, rugged terrain with strong winds, the configuration of the ground and the extremely flammable vegetation. The accumulation of biomass due to the abandonment of rural areas and the increasing tourism and exodus of rural population to the urban areas, are also important factors which contribute to an increased fire risk, especially during dry months.
It was just in two days that four forest fires were recorded in the capital only and more than 50 acres of forest had been damage by the fire in these four different places. The fire above Samazingkha’s fire yesterday that broke from a riverside was also contained with the aid of helicopter, arm forces, Desuung, forest officials and volunteers after battling for hours. The police along with their parents had questioned the two youths, who are suspected to have started the fire. The youth who are under 15 years told police that the fire got spread, while they were playing with a matchbox near the riverside.
We are lucky to have chopper facilities and other personnel to battle the forest fire but there are big chances that people will take advantages of those facilities to put off the fires efficiently and effectively.
Although we are lucky to have such facilities but we also need to give thought for their risk of life as it was reported that one person was injured after falling off a cliff last Friday while trying to battle the blaze of forest fire. Forest fire not only destroys the forests but also the animals living in the forests.
And the setting of fire will be very easy but we cannot imagine the time taken for the growth of our mother trees and vegetations.
Bhutan forest cover is set to be 72.5 percent of the total area of the country, the long term goals of Bhutan is to maintain 60 percent of the land under forest for all time to come. But if we keep on setting of forest fire please imagine that how can we manage to maintain with 60 percent under forest cover at all times to come.
Despite of awareness being conducted on forest fire, people have rights on harvesting lemon grass for extraction of lemon grass oil and grazing rights within government reserved forests. Therefore, there exists widespread practice of burning forest areas to promote new grass growth for oil and also as cattle feed.
With the freedom given we all must act responsibly as forest fires does more harm than benefit.