An assessment of the 2018 bushfire season in Viphya Plantation has established that bushfires have destroyed about 1 100 hectares of trees since August this year.
Viphya Plantation deputy director Martin Chimpokosa said bush fires are a major threat to the restoration of the plantation, widely known as Chikangawa, as they destroy young trees.
Speaking in an interview on Tuesday, he said the plantation has experienced over 50 cases of fire since August this year.
Chimpokosa said in those fire outbreaks, about 1 100 hectares were destroyed and most of the affected hectares had young trees.
He said the actual cost will be quantified at the end of the bushfire season. But he said the plantation will require about K241million for clearing and replanting.
Chimpokosa said the Forestry Department is engaging various stakeholders to help in protecting the plantation. He said the department engaged chiefs and surrounding communities in sensitising the puplic to the importance of protecting the forest.
Raiply chief executive officer Krishna Das said the company has deployed people and vehicles in various sections to help fight fires. He said the strategy has proved effective as recently the team put out fire that had just started spreading. n