Last night, Apr. 7, a team from Masungi Georeserve reported that a forest fire was seen to have been occurring around Antipolo and Tanay areas on the evening of Apr. 6 amid the Luzon-wide community lockdown.
In the post from the Masungi Georeserve’s Facebook page, they remind that “most if not all forest fires in the Philippines are caused by humans.” They also say that a forest fire could make way for land grabbing and unsustainable development of these burned lands.
It is possible that the fires may reach the nearby Masungi Georeserve, which has been facing threats of quarrying and illegal logging over the years. Only early of March this year did the georeserve witness their trees bleeding as barbed wire was punctured into the forest’s tree trunks.
The georeserve team asks everyone to stay vigilant during these times as the absence of employment may have led others to criminal acts such as illegal logging. Forest fires are also more prone to happen during the dry season, especially now when the country has recently experienced 35.5° Celsius state weather last Mar. 30, the hottest temperature of 2020 so far.
“At the frontlines of forest protection, we continue to defend Masungi and surrounding areas against fires and attempts of quarrying amid the lockdown. Now is the time to heighten forest protection all over the country,” said the Masungi Georeserve team in their Facebook post.
Header photo taken from the Masungi Georeserve Facebook post
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