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Benguet is burning: Forest fires are destroying hectares of pine land in the mountain region

Benguet is burning: Forest fires are destroying hectares of pine land in the mountain region

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UPDATE: As of Feb. 24, another forest fire occurred in the forest of Kabayan, Benguet.

Following the nine-day fire that was put out only last Tuesday, Feb. 18, in Kabayan, Benguet, a new forest fire has raged in the areas Sitio Nalseb, Ambassador, Tublay, Benguet. Already, it has destroyed at least 20 hectares of pine tree-abundant land.

The fire started at 2:30 in the afternoon today, Feb. 21, according to Fire Officer 1 Richard Watas of the Tublay Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). Two of their firetrucks and one from La Trinidad station were sent to the forest to put out the fire. They were joined by villagers who endured the trek to the site in order to aid in suppressing the fire manually.

150 hectares have already been razed during the nine-day forest fire that occurred in Kabayan, Benguet. Fortunately, there have been no casualties caused by the forest fires.

Watas and his team have not yet found the cause of the fires. However, previous investigations by the BFP have cited lighted cigarettes, lighters and bonfires as possible causes.

Benguet, being a province covered in pine trees, is highly susceptible to these fires. According to Edgardo Flor, officer-in-charge of Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO)–Benguet, smaller forest fires have been occurring in provinces such as Tuba, Tublay and Itogon as of January 2020. Because of this, the officers are urging civilians, tourists and locals alike to be more cautious with their actions in the forests and make sure that all possible causes for forest fires are avoided.

 

 

Header photo courtesy of BFPCAR Bokod Facebook

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Writer: THEA TORRES

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