Conservator announces fire season in Mau Forest as dry spell continues

Saturday, February 4th, 2023 07:17 | By
Aerial view of Mau Forest Complex. PHOTO/Courtesy

The Regional Forest Conservator for the Mau Forest area Francis Kariuki has declared a fire season as a result of the prevailing dry spell and heightened temperatures and cautioned residents to be wary of starting wildfires.

In that regard, Kariuki has put all firefighters on high alert to ensure that any fires reported are contained immediately.

He further instructed all forestry personnel to remain at their duty stations at all times as assigned, adding that any office wishing to leave their duty station will only do so upon written authority from their respective forest managers.

Conservator suspends leave for rangers

Kariuki added that forest officers including rangers would neither proceed on leave nor leave their work stations over weekends until the fire season is over.

The conservator asked each forester to draw up duty rosters to be used during the entire fire season.

“Each officer is expected to respond immediately in case of a fire outbreak whether they are on standby or not,” he instructed.

Kariuki cautioned residents whose farms border the forest cutline to desist from burning bushes in their farms as they prepare for the planting season.

He said that forest managers would organize random patrols to ensure there is no burning of vegetation within and around the forested areas

The Mau Forest Complex is the largest forest ecosystem and the most important water tower in Kenya measuring about 455,000 hectares.

It comprises 22 forest blocks and is a key water catchment area with 12 rivers feeding into major lakes in Kenya.

It is a globally recognized UNESCO world heritage site.

Although it is key in electricity production and supporting farming activities, it faces immense pressure due to encroaching and destruction of its cover mainly due to illegal human activities.

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