“We’ve no idea how the fire started,” Bane Tamanag, a Nagarkot resident told Nepali Times.
Local residents said they were not aware what had started the fire. Similar feedback has been reported in other forest fire incidents in other parts of the country, with witnesses saying the source of the fire was unknown.
On Sunday, a forest fire also broke out in Shivapuri Nagarjuna National Park. Nepal Police, Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and choppers from private airlines were deployed to douse the fire, which continued in some parts of the conservation area during the night, leaving the area shrouded in dense air.
An extended winter drought left the forests tinder-dry, sparking fires across the Himalayas late last year. Forest fires had started spreading in the Manang Valley around Chame in late November, and in Pathibhara in eastern Nepal, in December. Since then, hundreds of wildfires have spread across the Tarai and mid-mountains of Nepal.
The country continues to endure the record worst air quality in recent years because of the wildfires that have ravaged the forests at unprecedented rates. The country has been shrouded in smoke from forest fires for close to three weeks, made worse by the vehicular emissions and industrial pollution.