Public warned vs smog caused by forest, bush fires in Baguio, Benguet

Artemio Dumlao - Philstar.com
Public warned vs smog caused by forest, bush fires in Baguio, Benguet
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 — The Baguio City Health Services Office (CHSO) has hoisted an alert against the ill effects of the smog created by the smoke from forest and bush fires occurring in different locations in Baguio City and Benguet province.

CHSO Chief physician Celiaflor Brillantes said that the smog, which is a combination of fog and smoke, can cause irritations on the lungs that lead to cough, colds and even dizziness aside from affecting normal breathing.

She said that it can also worsen the condition of those who have breathing-related ailments such as pulmonary diseases, asthma and among others. 

Brillantes advised wearing masks to protect them from the fumes or smog Benguet towns including Baguio City are experiencing. 

She also reminded that masks, aside from protection from the the smog, are still very important against threats of COVID-19, which is is still around.

She encouraged individuals with breathing problems to consult their doctors immediately to avoid complications.

Meanwhile, personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Baguio rushed to Kadaklan Village along the Loakan area near Camp John Hay dawn Friday after a fire broke out in a forested area.  The fire reportedly started at around 4:30 a.m. but was doused at 5:57 a.m.

On Wednesday, two forest fires occures in two barangays of Itogon, Benguet. 

Personnel of the Tactical Operations Group 1 of the Philippine Air Force (TOG-PAF) helped in suppressing the fire in Barangay Tinongdan particularly in Sitio Binungaan by conducting bambi bucket operations. 

Fire authorities estimated that 16 hectares of forest area were razed in Sitio Bonecaw, Barangay Loacan, also in Itogon.

Fire suppression operations by BFP personnel together with private firefighting brigades and volunteers were carried on until Thursday. 

The fire authorities are still monitoring these areas and have remained on alert for possible rekindling.

Authorities have pegged that a thousand hectares of forest and grasslands in various locations in the highland Cordillera region have been ravaged by fires since the first week of February.

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