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Community Forest Fires in Banke Kill Animals, Displace Wildlife

April 25, 2024
Forest Fires in Banke

Fires raging through community forests in Banke district have resulted in the deaths of rabbits, snakes, and various bird species. Forest Officer Sushil Subedi of Shamsherganj Sub-Division Office confirms the deaths, with further details on the exact number of casualties still being gathered.

The fires have also displaced wildlife such as deer and wild boar. While human casualties have been avoided, numerous animals have either died or faced danger.

Fires have affected 25 community forests in Rapti Sonari, Duduwa, and Baijnath rural municipalities, as well as Kohalpur Municipality. An estimated 750 hectares of forest across these areas have burned.

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“The dry conditions this year have worsened the fire spread,” stated Forest Officer Subedi. “We’ve been working throughout the night to control the blazes, which are now contained with only some small areas still burning.”

Firefighters used specialized vehicles and mobilized eight fire watchers to battle the flames. Community awareness campaigns, fire line construction, and direct community involvement are part of ongoing efforts to prevent future occurrences.

Banke National Park Senior Conservation Officer Manoj Kumar Shah reports additional fires within the park boundaries, caused by villagers. These fires have destroyed nests, eggs, and young birds of various species.

“The fires have devastated habitats and displaced animals,” said Conservation Officer Shah. “The fires are now controlled, but the damage has been significant.”

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