Wild fire leaves Rutsiro forest in ruins

A wild fire that broke out on Sunday has left swathes of a forest located on Busoro Hill in Musasa Sector, Rutsiro District, in ruins.

A wild fire that broke out on Sunday has left swathes of a forest located on Busoro Hill in Musasa Sector, Rutsiro District, in ruins.

District Mayor Gaspard Byukusenge said the cause of the fire is yet to be known.

Byukusenge said more than six hectares of forest were razed down following the fire which broke out in the wee hours of Sunday. Part of the destroyed forest belonged to the government, he added.

But some local sources painted a rather grimmer picture of the extent of the fire, with some suggesting the devastated forest to be about 20 hectares. This paper could not independently verify the claims.

It took several hours for local residents to be able to put out the fire, an eyewitness told The New Times.

No one was harmed in the inferno, Mayor Byukusenge said.

“We are still investigating what caused the fire,” he added.

The official cautioned residents against anything that might trigger wild fires, warning that it leads to loss of lives and property.

“As we continue our efforts to mobilise the population against anything that can cause wild fires, we are also considering other options so as to ensure we limit such incidents,” the mayor said. “We might, for instance, ban charcoal burning if it avails that the activity contributes to bush fires.”

Police caution


The fire outbreak comes barely two weeks after another blaze destroyed about 16 hectares of forest in Nyamashake District.

A notice posted on the Rwanda National Police web site cautions the public against bush burning.

Some of the causes of bush fire, according to the notice, include honey harvesting, agricultural activities such as burning mulches in gardens; throwing of burning cigarettes and lighting fire near forests.

“Cases of bush burning have been recorded in different parts of the country,” Police said, calling for joint efforts to stop the habit.

 “During this dry season, fires spread so wildly and cause deadly damages, including properties and wild life leave alone the environment,” the Police said.

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