Akagera Park fire not a threat- authorities

Kayonza - Park authorities in Akagera National Park have said that the recent fire outbreak caused no threat to the general ecological balance. This was revealed yesterday by Akagera Park warden, Eugene Mutangana, while reacting to the effects of the fire outbreak that gutted over 20 hectares of the park.

Kayonza - Park authorities in Akagera National Park have said that the recent fire outbreak caused no threat to the general ecological balance.

This was revealed yesterday by Akagera Park warden, Eugene Mutangana, while reacting to the effects of the fire outbreak that gutted over 20 hectares of the park.

He said that it was a simple fire and that people should know that unlike the Virunga Park, Akagera Park is situated in a savannah, where fire of that nature is not a threat.
He insisted that the recent fire was actually a blessing in disguise and not a hazard.

“In fact, we regard planned fires as ecologically beneficial, as they create natural barriers to the spread of big fires when grass overgrows,” he said.

“The present fire management in the park is based on creating preventive fire breakers during the dry season”.
Potel Jossam, in charge of Land and Environmental Conservation in Kayonza District, emphasized that the park faces no risk of fire.

“There are fire breakers…we use back burning where necessary to control any fire outbreak. That is why the recent fire took few hours to put out. People’s attitudes have also improved drastically,” he said.

The Executive Secretary of Murundi Sector, where the fire originated, said that it was caused by strangers.
He said people within the park boundaries cannot burn the park after understanding its importance.

“We would be worried if the fire was still caused by residents. They are actually part of the protectors. The recent fire was caused by intruders (smugglers and poachers) and we shall soon eliminate them,” he said.

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