The Central Cordillera of the island of Luzón, The Philippines, is covered by a largely pure pine forest. Like many submontane and montane tropical forests of Southeast Asia the monostructure of this pine forest has been shaped by many hundreds of years of cultivation. The use of fire for mountain farming and grazing has resulted in the selection of pine species which are more tolerant to surface fires than the native hardwood species.
During the recent years, however, the wildfire regimes in the Central Cordillera forests have changed. Increasing population pressure and demand for agricultural, grazing and settlement land have brought new fire patterns to the island which are more detrimental to the forest environment than ever before. This was the reason for setting up a fire management organization in Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region. This fire management project has been supported by a FAO Technical Cooperation Programme and by bilateral cooperation with the University of Freiburg, financed by the German Volkswagen Foundation.
The editorial office of the International Forest Fire News recently received the fire statistics of the last fire season. The numbers are shown in the table below.
Fire occurrence within the Cordillera Region – NorthernPhilippines
T O T A L
NumberArea (ha) BENGUET 83
117 1,501.93 MT. PROVINCE 10
11 83.50 ABRA –
4 331.30 IFUGAO –
4 332.68 KALINGA-APAYAO –
8 406.36 T O T A L93
From: Manuel L.Pogeyed Chief, Forest Protection & Law Enforcement Section Address: Department of Environment & Natural Resources Cordillera Administrative Region BAGUIO CITY