Fire hits Benguet forest days before Fire Prevention Month
Firefighters try to put out a fire that has spread to the forest in Barangay Daclan in Bokod, Benguet in this handout photo.

Fire hits Benguet forest days before Fire Prevention Month

Artemio Dumlao (Philstar.com) - March 1, 2020 - 3:56pm

BENGUET, Philippines —A fire hit another town in Benguet province on Friday and again on Saturday, damaging at least five hectares of forest in Tuba. 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources forest ranger Jimsy Batan said the fire hit part of Amliang in Poblacion, Tuba.

The fire started at around 2 p.m. on Friday and was suppressed by the Bureau of Fire and Protection and by Tuba police with the help of forest rangers of the DENR Benguet and some villagers by that night.

But the fire reignited around 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Police Maj. Dominador de Guzman, town police chief, said winds had fanned smoldering dried foliage into a full-blown fire on Saturday morning.

Fire and police personnel rushed to the vicinity of Amliang Creek, which, according to BFP Tuba, serves as a natural fire barrier.

BFP Baguio firefighters came to the aid of their counterparts to prevent the fire from spreading.

Mount Cabuyao resident Benny Pumahing said forest fires in the area are hard to control due to its inaccessibility. Firefighting equipment cannot easily reach the where the fire is. 

Firefighters, police and DENR personnel can only do so much, like digging firelines to prevent the forest fires from spreading further. 

Earlier, heads of the BFP admitted that they are having a hard time battling forest fires, especially when they are located in the innermost parts of the mountain ranges.

In Kabayan recently, firefighters, police and residents became helpless as they watched from a distance a forest fire raging at the top of a mountain. The said fire was naturally suppressed by rain.

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