BUJUMBURA, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Over 1,400 hectares of forests have been devastated by bush fires in Burundi since the beginning of the dry season in June, an environment official said Tuesday.
The province of Bururi in the south of Burundi comes on the top in terms of burnt areas. Up to Monday, the province had registered 527 hectares of burnt forests, said Samuel Ndayiragije, general manager in charge of environment protection at the Burundian environment ministry.
He said heavy sanctions are provided in the country's forest law, underlining that 28 suspects have been arrested in Ruyigi, the second most affected province with 495 hectares of forests burned, for deliberately setting fire on forests.
Reasons behind setting fire on forest reserves in the tiny African nation are not well known, but the administration assumes that some illegal animal hunters set fire on forests to see easily where animals are hiding. Others set fire to get pastures for their cattle, especially in the dry season extending from June to September.