Besides protection against encroachment, protection of forests against natural causes of damage, especially forest fire, is the most important aspect of forest protection. Fire as a result of abnormal weather pattern has a detrimental impact on forest resources. It causes total destruction to the affected forest areas compared to the partial damage due to logging activities. Many studies have shown that logged over areas are more prone to fire. In view of the fact that about 80 percent of the forest reserve areas has already been logged, the forest in Sabah is generally highly susceptible to fire.
The Forestry Department has been implementing a programme of forest fire management. This programme consists of the following components
- Fire prevention
- Fire detection systems
- Fire preparedness
- Fire suppression and control
Damages by pests and diseases are also closely monitored, although there has not been any major outbreak.