Five killed by forest fire in western Nepal

NepalKathmandu - At least five people were killed trying to put out a forest fire in western Nepal, police said Saturday. The fire broke out in a community forest in Hastipur village of Gulmi district, about 300 kilometres west of the Nepalese capital, on Saturday morning and was now threatening three other nearby villages.

"The five, including three women, were killed when they were trapped by the blaze while trying to control the spread of the fire," said Rajendra Prasad Palikhe, Deputy Superintendent of Police in Gulmi district.

He said the fire was burning out of control, fanned by strong winds and dry conditions.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Nepal has seen high number of forest fires across the country this year due to long dry spell and warmer than normal temperatures.

On Thursday, 13 soldiers died in central Nepalese district of Ramechaap trying to put out a forest fire that was threatening a hospital.

Another five deaths were reported last month due to forest fire.

Nepal does not have equipment or fire fighting teams to combat forest fires. (dpa)