Alarm as honey harvesters burn 700 hectares of Aberdare range – PHOTOS

Over 700 hectares of forest cover has been destroyed by raging fire at the Aberdare range in the last three days.

Confirming the destruction, area Chief Warden Bajila Kofa appealed for assistance, saying his officers, members of the public and Kenya Forest Service warden are overwhelmed by the fire.

“We have teams on the ground assisted by members of the public and Community Forest Association members. But the situation is bad we are appealing for any support to help contain the fires,” said Mr Kofa.

Aberdare III - Alarm as honey harvesters burn 700 hectares of Aberdare range – PHOTOS
A forest rangers attempts to extinguish fire at the Aberdare range where more than 700 hectares land has been destroyed by fire. PHOTO | WAIKWA MAINA

RAGING FIRE

He said the fire has already destroyed more than 700 hundred hectares of land at the national park and is still raging on.

“We are having bad times here. The most hit areas are Malewa and the Table Mountain regions of the national park,” said Mr Kofa.

He said the fire was caused by honey harvesters and community activities, with residents burning the grass to kill ticks.

Aberdare II - Alarm as honey harvesters burn 700 hectares of Aberdare range – PHOTOS
Forest rangers and members of the community fighting fire at the Aberdare range where more than 700 hectares land has been destroyed by fire. PHOTO | WAIKWA MAINA

STRONG WINDS

“The fire originated from the neighbor farms before escalating to the park. The residents were burning the vegetation to kill the ticks; they normally do it during the dry season. We also have some illegal charcoal burning activities that might have worsened the situation,” said Mr Kofa.

Area Chief Warden says the situation is worsened by strong winds blowing the terrains and the dry matter due to the ongoing drought.

Aberdare IV - Alarm as honey harvesters burn 700 hectares of Aberdare range – PHOTOS
Forest rangers at the Aberdare range where more than 700 hectares land has been destroyed by fire. PHOTO | WAIKWA MAINA

Ms Jennifer Situma, the Nyandarua County Conservator says over 400 hectares of forest cover has been destroyed within her area of jurisdiction.

“We have two fire incidents within the forest area, one has been contained but our people assisted by members of the public are on the ground battling the other fire at Ndaragua area. The most affected area is now the area under the national park,” said Ms Situma.

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