BY RITA DAMARY

MORE than 10,000 acres of indigenous trees in Sururu Forest, Mau Narok, have been destroyed by a wildfire raging for 16 days.

The forest is 32,000 acres.

Nakuru Natural Resources executive Richard Rop said the fire was made worse by the long dry season.

He spoke to the press on Monday after a tour of the forest, accompanied by Kenya Forest Service officers, regular and AP police, local administrators and residents.

Rop said the “fierce fire has been almost contained.”

“It has not been easy to contain the Sururu fire due to rough terrains – the valleys and hills in the area. It has been windy hence the fire was spreading very fast,” he said.

Rop said the fire might have been caused by arsonists, honey extractors and charcoal burners, who invade the forest.

Yesterday, he said the fire has still not been put out but it has been contained.

County commissioner Mohamed Birik urged people living near the forest to help in conservation efforts.

“I ask KFS to be vigilant, have surveillance and arrest any forest intruders because they could be contributing to destruction of natural resources,” he said.

Birik warned charcoal burners and loggers to stop illegal activities in the forest.

Rop said the county is working on quick strategies of stopping fires that have destroyed sections of Bahati, Menengai and Mau forests.

He said the county government has established firebreaks and forest boundaries to combat fires.

The county executive said proper surveillance will be conducted by KFS and community forest associations.

“KFS should take a lead in training people residing near forests to understand the dynamics of the environment. The rangers will patrol the forest and raise the alarm in case of fire outbreaks,” Rop said.

Courtesy of the-star.co.ke

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