Over 300 hundred acres in biodiversity complex destroyed by fire


Text and Pix By Suranga Dilhan, Gampola Corr

Over 300 acres of forest belonging to the Ambuluwawa biodiversity complex at Gampola have been destroyed by a fire that raged for two days from Friday.

The fire sparked off from the Galpaya area in Ganga Ihala Korale, Gampola near the Wattakade on the Hemmatagama Road on the Kegalle District border raged destroying pine cultivation and spread up to the Ambuluwawa Mountain.

Villagers had first seen the fire around 10 am on Friday, police said. They, with the help of fire fighters, police and military personnel fought the fire without much success, but yesterday they managed to halt its advance by creating a fire gap through the forest cover to prevent its further spread. However, fire was still blazing in the middle of the territory which had been marked off by fire fighters cutting firebreaks in the vegetation that acted as a barrier to stop the progress of forest fire.

The fire that lasted for two days fauna and flora including some rare medicinal plants belonging to the biodiversity complex and pipelines that pumped water from the mountain to villages and hamlets at the foothill.

Gampola police are conducting investigations to ascertain the cause of the fire.

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