A fire outbreak has destroyed a 40 Acre piece of forest land in the vast Seng’alo forest in Uasin Gishu County.
According to KFS officials, the fire is suspected to have been caused by some individuals in the homes adjacent to the forest who were released from prison after serving different sentences for crimes associated with forest destruction.
The fire was contained by locals who responded with speed and were later joined by officers from Kenya Wildlife officers, Kenya Forest Service and those from the Uasin Gishu fire fighting department.
North Region Head of Conservancy Benjamin Kinyili and Uasin Gishu Chief Ecosystem Conservator Thomas Kiptoo said that most of the vegetation in most of the forests in the region is drying up rapidly leading to building up of inflammable material thus increasing the risk of forest fire outbreaks.
They said there have been more than five incidents of fire outbreak in different forests in the region and cautioned people living near the forests to avoid burning of grass and other slashed materials while preparing their farms for planting because that will expose the adjacent forests areas and other private property to higher risks of being destroyed by fires.
Kinyili asked the locals to be vigilant assuring them that the government officers will continue with patrols and instructed all county Forest officers and forest station managers to urgently prepare and forward a fire preparedness report to his office.
They urged people living adjacent to the forests to comply with information that has been displayed on the signboards and posters in strategic points about fire prevention measures.
One of the new measures is a restriction that requires farmers who intend to burn any vegetation in any areas adjacent to the forest reserves should give forty-eight hours written notice to the nearest forest manager for approval after proper consideration and guidance.
The North Rift Kenya Forest Service department has therefore made a declaration of fire season and put up measures for fire preparedness following cases of rampant fire outbreaks that have led to the destruction of forests due to the prevailing dry windy weather conditions in many parts of the region in the past three months.