Certain villagers in various parts of Jaffna have developed the practice of setting fire to the forests in order to hunt for rabbits, porcupines and other forest animals.
The Palmyra trees have been destroyed due to these man made fires.
When a forest fire had erupted in the Jaffna, Thelippalai area, the army and the Jaffna Municipal Council fire brigade had intervened and doused the fire. However, the residents claim that by that time around 500 Palmyra trees had been destroyed in the fire.
In the Mannar, Pesalai and Musali area when such forest fires had erupted, due to the delay in dousing the fire, around 1200 Palmyra trees had been destroyed, according to the Palmyra Development Board field officers.