KFS on high alert over forest fires

Wednesday January 11 2017

Kenya Forest Service fire patrol unit patrol parts of Mt Kenya forest at Gathiuru on March 12, 2015. KFS has been on high alert to monitor and detect forest fires due to the ongoing dry season. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Forest Service fire patrol unit patrol parts of Mt Kenya forest at Gathiuru on March 12, 2015. KFS has been on high alert to monitor and detect forest fires due to the ongoing dry season. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By IRENE MUGO
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Kenya Forest Service (KFS) workers are on high alert over possible fire outbreak in forested zones due to harsh climate.

According to the Nyeri Ecosystem Conservator and KFS Zonal manager Muchiri Mathinji, the very dry and windy weather that can provoke fire in the forests.

“When the weather is too hot characterised by dry winds, fire spreads very fast,” he said.

“We are calling people living near forests to be very careful and avoid using fire without any measures,” he said.

Mr Mathinji said all precautionary measures had been put in place including sensitising communities living in the forested areas on the need for deterrence, detecting and subdual of fire outbreaks.

The forest Act 2005 recognizes the role of communities in co-management of forests which are an important natural resource.

“The fires are imminent in Gathiuru area in Mt Kenya, parts of Gatarakwa in the slopes of Aberdare forest which are high risk areas,” said Mr Mathinji.

So far, Mr Mathinji said there has not been a fire incident.

The public have been asked to urgently report fires and possible fires to the nearest KFS office or through hotline number 020 250 2508.

The dry season of January to March and August to September are characterized by high temperatures and therefore low humidity which makes forests and other vegetation areas highly susceptible to fire outbreaks.