An anti-bushfire taskforce has been formed in Ho to help check the occurrence of destructive fires in the Municipality.
Mr Billy Anaglate, Deputy Volta Regional Fire Commander who made this known to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the taskforce would undertake day and night patrols in the Municipality to ensure that indiscriminate burning did not cost lives and property, especially during the dry season.
He said arsonists, and others caught irresponsibly causing fire outbreaks, including; farmers, palm wine tappers, beekeepers, and hunters, would be prosecuted.
The Deputy Regional Fire Commander said the Fire Service had embarked on rigorous public education and urged members of the public to change their attitude towards fires, and also help expose arsonists.
“People must change their attitudes towards fires. 90 per cent of fire outbreaks are preventable, therefore reckless smokers, and hunters must be mindful of their activities. Community members must help cause the arrest of those who start wildfires, to serve as a deterrent to others”, he said.
Mr Anaglate said recent bush fire outbreaks in the Ho Municipality and the region forced the Service to move into protect property notably, along the Kabakaba Hills, adding that the situation was having a toll on its resources.
Mr Anaglate said the velocity of winds during the harmattan was high, and advised the public to have water to prevent domestic fires from spreading. He also called on farmers to maintain fire belts around their farms to avoid wildfires, adding that volunteers of the Service were in all communities to support in that regard.
“The destruction of forests can cost everybody. It threatens farms and houses. When hills deplete, it would cause flooding, erosion, and landslides. Wind carries embers from bushfires into river bodies, polluting them and killing aquatic life.
“Wild animals fleeing fires end up in the communities and could endanger lives”, he said, assuring the public that the Service was “always” monitoring fire outbreaks and would deploy tenders to fight them.
DCOP Eric Oduro Kwarteng, Volta Regional Police Commander also cautioned against uncontrolled bush burning, saying the Police would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute culprits.