Written by Joseph Amunya Otieno
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A section of the burned Lugari forest.
Over 20 hectares of forest land in Lugari district were destroyed by fires during the current dry spell occasioning losses running into millions of shillings.
Speaking to West Fm in his office the zonal manager Stanley Mwangi said that over five fire incidences have been reported in the area since February this year.
Mwangi said Turbo forest was the most affected where trees with an estimated value of Sh 1.6 million have been destroyed.
At the same time, Mwangi warned those preparing their farms in the forest against using fire adding that those who will be found will be dealt with accordingly.
He said it was an offence to use fire in the forest blocks and appealed to them to desist from using lighters.
He added that communities residing on the fringes of the resource have 48 hours to inform the department of their intentions to use fire on their farms.
The manager also revealed that heavy patrols have been introduced by his officers adding that the effort had managed to reduce fire outbreak incidences within forest blocks.
Though the department has not managed to arrest anybody, Mwangi observed that a large percentage of the outbreaks are suspected to have been sparked by arsonists. He therefore, warned that anyone who
will be arrested for the action will face the full force of the law so as to act as a deterrent to others.
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