Written by Staff Writer
03 Feb, 2020 | 9:33 pm
Colombo (News1st) – There has been an increasing trend of groups setting forest areas on fire in recent times. The fires have mostly been reported from localities in Badulla and Nuwara Eliya, areas which are tourist hotspots.
W.S.C. Weragoda, the Director-General of the Forests Department stated that this year has seen a rapid increase in the number of fires, when compared to previous years. It is believed that fires are being set to mitigate the risks of wild animal attacks, while also being used as a hunting tactic.
Given that this rogue act is carried out during night time, it makes the capture and prosecution of these individuals more difficult, as per the Director General of the Forests Department.
Yesterday alone, there were fires reported from across the country, with three fires reported from Nuwara Eliya, Ella, and Deniyaya. Forest fires continue to damage grasslands and reserves, destroying local flora while also having a negative impact on tourism.
Director-General Weragoda further added that 171 fires damaged in excess of 1068 hectares across the country last year. The last month alone had seen 15 hectares damaged with 5 fires taking place.
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