The Kenya Forest Service has issued a stun warning to residents neighbouring Mt Kenya and the Aberdares Forests against lighting fires that might lead to the forests.
The warning comes at a time when fire rating danger is at the very high mark in the region following prolonged drought.
Speaking after a sensitization meeting on how to prevent and deal with such incidences when they occur with members of Mt Kenya west Forest association at Nanyuki Forest, Nyeri Eco System Conservator Francis Mathinji noted that all the departments have been put on alert ready to deal with any eventuality.
Mathinji said that during such times the neighbours should control the way they deal with fire that might spread to the forest causing unimaginable damage. He noted that forest users who graze, extract honey and farmers should always be on the lookout whenever in the forest and report any sighting of smoke to the relevant authorities.
The conservator said that all KFS officers who were on leave have been recalled to assist in educating Community Forest Associations on how to protect, counter and fight fire if they break.
At the same time other departments and organizations in the region have also been integrated in the program. Mathinji warned those who believe that by burning the forests rains will come and urged them to forget about such a myth adding that fires cause massive damage that can never be recovered.
Mt Kenya West CFA Chairman Kariuki Mugo noted that the Forest users have worked with KFS in the past and are ready to do even during this time. Mugo said members are the beneficiaries of the forest and they have the mandate to protect them in all measures.
The meeting was also used to sensitize the members on the need to register as voters as the exercise entered the last week of registration.