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Fire destroys two more forests in Nakuru

By | Mar 26th 2009 | 2 min read

By Beatrice Obwocha

Fire has destroyed two more forests in Nakuru as security personnel and the public fight to contain its spread in the Mau Complex.

Fire started at Bahati and Menengai forests on Tuesday in Nakuru and Nakuru North districts.

The Head of Mau Conservancy Cosmas Ikiugu said the fire at Menengai Forest was put out by Tuesday night.

"The fire started near the Menengai Crater view point, but it was put out by members of the public before it spread," he said.

Large numbers

The fire in Bahati Forest was still burning by the time we went to press, with police and wananchi fighting to contain it.

Mr Ikiugu said the fire in Maasai Mau, Esageri, Maji Mazuri, Sururu, and Londiani forests had been contained.

"The remaining fire is in Nessuit and Logoman forests in Nakuru, as well as Kiptuget forest in Koibatek," he said.

Ikiugu said 144 military personnel were assisting to contain the fire in Nessuit and Logoman forests.

The public, he said, had come out in large numbers to help, especially in Nessuit, where the fire has destroyed a large area of bamboo forest.

He was optimistic they would put it out by the end of week.

"But most of all, we hope it rains soon, as this will prevent fire from breaking out again in other forests due to the dry spell," he said.

Ikiugu said the number of hectares of forest cover destroyed by the fire had increased due to the raging inferno in Nessuit, Logoman and Bahati.

He said the conservancy was conducting a survey to establish the exact acreage destroyed.

Forest and Wildlife Minister Noah Wekesa said efforts to battle the fires were hindered by lack of fire fighting equipment.

Same time

He sought the deployment of military personnel to einfirce the teams on the ground.

Dr Wekesa blamed the blaze on the dry weather, but also said arson was in play, as ten fires were started at the same time.

He said ten suspects were in custody and, if found guilty, face a five-year jail term or a Sh50,000 penalty.

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