Fire Engulfs Yaya Forest Reserve

Yaya Forest Reserve at Ayigbe in the Wenchi Municipality caught fire on Tuesday, destroying thousands of acres of timber species, cocoa and teak plantations.

When the Brong-Ahafo Regional Anti Bushfire Committee visited the forest on Wednesday the fire had reached dangerous dimensions, spreading to all parts of the forest.

Large acres of food stuffs and crops comprising maize, yam and cassava plantations cultivated at the shoulders of the forest had also been destroyed by the fire.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) gathered that attempts by the local fire volunteers and officials from the Ghana National Fire service to extinguish the fire were not successful due to its intensity.

According to the local fire volunteers in the area, because they did not have Wellington boots and other logistics they could not enter the forest when the fire begun.

An official of Brong-Ahafo Regional Office of the Ghana National Fire Service, told the GNA the cause of the fire was not known but was suspicious that it was due to activities of the local charcoal burners.

He said preliminary investigation had revealed that the source of the fire outbreak was traced to Ahyiayem, a farming community, near Chiraa in the Sunyani West District and had traveled about 10-kilometre square.

The official expressed concern about lack of logistics and funds for the regional and the various district anti-bushfire committees that had made the committees dormant.

He said the Provisional National Defence Council Law (PNDCL 229) mandates Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to establish and fund anti bushfire committees but the assemblies had failed to comply.

He appealed to assemblies to support the existing local anti bushfire committees in the discharge of their duties to curb fire outbreak and said the region recorded 275 rural fires in the last harmattan season.

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