Three forest fires raze Baguio grasslands

March 6, 2012 10:28 am 

BAGUIO CITY, March 6 – Three forest fires razed an estimated more than 7,000 square meters of grasslands with sparse trees in three areas here near forested zones and residential areas Monday night. No one was hurt.

This was confirmed by Abner Villanueva, spokesman of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), whose office is now closely monitoring the forest fires this summer season.

The biggest area razed was in Barangay Loakan, which is near the reservation of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).

Various firefighter groups here jointly put off the blazes to avoid any widespread damage to the affected areas.

Villanueva said sporadic forest fires had been recurring in the Cordillera mountainous region every summer when the leaves and twigs accumulated within forest zones dry up.

Forest fires became a problem of the government since the middle 1970's when millions of pesos worth of matured pine trees and other properties were lost every year.

A week ago, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has officially declared that summer or dry season the area has begun.

The weather is characterized by nearly to total absence of rainfall and the rise of the average temperature.

Since two days ago, Baguio City and suburbs have already averaged from 16 to 28 degrees celsius, way above the city normal average of 14 to 25 degrees celsius.

"We have asked the help of the residents to cooperate in the safeguarding of our forests," said Villanueva. (PNA)

FFC/AAG

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