Wildfire burns hunters

By Baraka John

Nineteenhunterssustained serious wounds after flames of wildfire burnt them while hunting wild animals at Gangura payam, Yambio County on Tuesday.

The survivors are nursing their terrible wounds at Yambio State Hospital.

The hunters are said to have set fire in the bush with the aim of exposing out the animals for them to kill.Hunters in Western Equatoria State go for hunting during dry season traveling to the bush to hunt wild animals for commercial purpose.

Mr.James Sakia,an eye witness at the scene of the incident told Juba Monitor that the hunters set fire on the bush at around 11 A.M.which later spread to the areas where they took cover.

“These people [the hunters] went to the bush and set fire, so there was heavy wind blowing at that time and the wind began to spread the fire to other bushes including the areas where the hunters took cover. The fire was too much; up to the extentthat the hunters were unable to run away, so they were caught up by the fire and got burnt. Thank God no person was reported dead in the incident,” Mr. Sakia explained.

Dr. Kumba Victor, medical Director at the State civil hospital said the situation of some of the survivors is critical saying they require intensive care.

“These patients have different categories of burnt wounds, the wounds range from the first degree to second degree burnt. The second degree burnis the kind of burn which involves the outer and the inner skins. These people got burnt on the face, chest, neck and abdomen and legs as well. So, the condition of these patients ranges from severe and mild condition,” he said.

Dr. Kumba said the main challenge is lack of medical staff to treat the patients adding the situation may force the hospital administration to mobilize nurses from clinic to attend to the patients.

“We ran shortage of fluid yesterday because you can get burn of about 96% of the total surface burnt so this one needs a lot of fluid. We have actually run out of fluid to treat the patients. Out of the 19 patients four are expected to be airlifted later in the day or tomorrow to Juba for better treatment.

“According to the information we received, one person was reportedly dead at the scene,”Kumba added.

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