150 hectares of Mau destroyed by forest fires

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More than 150 hectares of Mau forest land have been destroyed by wildfires that started on Monday.

Residents living near the forest fled the area after the fires consumed the area

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Narok Ecosystem Conservator Mwai Muraguri said the fires, that occurred at Olposimoru block of the forest, have displaced thousands of animals living in the forest.

These include over 40 elephants and tens of buffalos that are now at risk of dying following the fire outbreak.

Speaking to the Star on phone on Wednesday, Muraguri said that they have already deployed a contingent of security officers to help in putting off a fierce fire that is moving fast.

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He added that they are currently working with the Kenya Wildlife Service, Mara Elephant Project and Rangers from Narok County Government to control the fire.

“Our biggest challenge now is that the weather is hot and is assisting the fire to spread fast to others parts of the forest but we are trying all we can to fight it,” he said.

The conservator said he suspected that the fire might have been caused by human activities.

Muraguri said they would launch investigations to ascertain the real cause of the fire.

 He reminded the locals that it is illegal to lit fire inside or near the forest without notifying their office at least 48 hours before lighting the fire.

Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina requested that both national and county governments move expeditiously and put off the fire.

“I have just received information of a fire at Mau forest. I have spoken to County Commissioner George Natembeya who confirmed to me that some criminals have resorted to burning the forest,” said Ledama.

He pleaded with anyone with the information on who started the fire to come forward and help the government in dealing with the menace.

In 2015, similar destroyed 4,000 acres of Maasai Mau forest and affected areas like Eor-Enkitok, Entepesi, Ole deem, Sasimwani and Olopil areas of Narok North sub county, which is part of the larger Mau Complex.

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