The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) is hunting for suspected arsonists who set on fire on forest land at Nthunguri area, part of the Mt. Kenya ecosystem in Tharaka Nithi County Tuesday.
The County Ecosystem Conservator, James Mburu, told media in Chuka that seven hectares of bushland had been destroyed by the fire that started around 4pm in the evening and was later contained by his officers.
The KWS officers worked together with members of Community Forest Association and fire teams from the nearby Chuka University and the County Government.
The officer, however, noted that another fire was reignited on Wednesday night despite officers and some community members camping in the area.
“We were surprised after another fire was restarted last night after the previous one was put out,” Mburu said.
The officer appealed to the residents in the area to volunteer information that would help them in making arrest of the suspects.
He said destruction of the forest was causing suffering to over 38 groups’ members that draw water from its various watering points.
“I am appealing to our people to be cautious when preparing their fields so that they don’t start fire,” he said.
Six honey harvesters were last week arrested after the county security team banned any human activity in the Mt. Kenya Forest that has recently experienced fires that consumed more than 100, 000 hectares of moorland vegetation.
The six were pardoned by a Chuka court but warned against such activity in future.
By Kenneth Marangu