Ranjith Alahakoon, the Assistant Director of the Polonnaruwa District Disaster Management Center, has reported that a devastating fire has consumed approximately 3,000 acres of precious forest reserves in the Polonnaruwa region.
The fire has wreaked havoc in several key areas including Habarana, Gal-oya, Medirigiriya, Kaudulla, Hingurakgoda, Lankapura, and Welikanda, resulting in irreparable damage to these pristine natural habitats.
In addition to the fire’s destruction, there have been concerns raised about hunters exacerbating the issue by encroaching upon the reserved forest to hunt wild animals.
Alahakoon stressed the vital role that local villagers play in safeguarding these forests. He emphasized that it is the collective responsibility of the community to provide valuable information to security personnel in order to apprehend poachers who are engaged in illegal hunting activities, thereby protecting the area’s delicate ecosystem and its wildlife.