Haze blankets Benguet areas as forest fires rage

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star
Haze blankets Benguet areas as forest fires rage
Haze covers the skies of Baguio and Tuba in Benguet as forest fires rage at the Philippine Military Academy reservation site and on Mt. Sto. Tomas, respectively.
Andy Zapata

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Residents of Tuba in Benguet as well as Baguio City are suffering from haze caused by forest fires that have beeng raging since the early part of this month.

Residents have been suffering from the smoke and smell of burning grasses and trees in areas located within the reservation site of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio as well as in Barangay Tabaan and Mt. Sto. Tomas in Tuba.

People living in Sitio Basa at camps 4 and 6 in Tuba are worried about their safety as the fires are drawing closer to their property.

The fire at the PMA reservation site started on Tuesday.

Firefighters, volunteers and community groups have joined hands to control the blaze, which was fanned by winds blowing from the eastern portion of Baguio and Benguet.

The city’s Bureau of Fire Protection said that as of Wednesday, the fires had destroyed 20 hectares of trees and vegetation.

Authorities have yet to declare the fire out as winds kept fanning and rekindling the flames.

Investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire at the PMA reservation site.

As of yestreday, bush and forest fires continued to rage in portions of Mt. Sto. Tomas in Tuba.

During the first week of this month, at least two hectares of grasslands and forests were destroyed when a fire broke out on Mt. Sto. Tomas.

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