Minister’s plan to curb forest fire

Published on Mar 07 2009 // Main News

Thimphu, March 6, 2009: Minister for Agriculture Pema Gyamtsho unveiled his plan on how to curb the increasing incidents of forest fire across the country in the last few years that has destroyed large areas of plantation. 

A forest fire in Tingtibe, Zhemgang

A forest fire in Tingtibe, Zhemgang

In his plan made public in Thimphu, Friday, Gyamtsho said the cause of forest fire is due to ignorance of the villagers while burning the dried twigs and leaves collected while clearing bushes for agricultural activities. 

The minister has asked the farmers to inform neighbors and local administration a day before they burn the twigs so ensure fire is controlled on time, in case of danger. 

According to records, over 96,000 hectares of forest was destroyed in the country in between 2003 and 2007 due to forest fire. The country saw fires in more than dozen forests in this season only. The latest fire hazard is in Samdrup Jongkhar where fire damaged large areas of forests in three places of the district.

The increasing forest fire has pose challenge to the government records that country has over 64 percent fire cover. Absence of fire fighters, lack of training to the villagers, poor awareness campaign and villagers yarn for slash and burn tradition for agriculture are some of the major contributing factors of forest fire in the country. 

The country does not have a fire brigade and trained fire fighters.