Philippines — The Bureau of Fire Protection 6 (BFP6) has expressed alarm over reports that 416 fire incidents happened in the first two months of this year in Western Visayas compared to the total 922 cases for the whole year of 2009.
Fire Senior Superintendent Ma. Sofia Mendoza said fire incidents in the past two months are mostly bushfire or grassfire but the hazards to lives and properties cannot be determined.
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The recent forest fire occurred early this week at Barangay Maniaquiac, Dingle, Iloilo near a national park. About four hectares of tree plantations and open grasses were burned down.
Several grassfires also occurred in some open areas in the city and provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental.
Mendoza and BFP6 Chief of Fire Safety Enforcement Section Hercules Barneso were recently the guests of Talakayan Sa Isyung Pulis interview at Central Philippines University television channel hosted by POIII Francisco B. Lindero, Jr.
Mendoza said the fire incidents from January to February this year, which is aggravated by the El Niño phenomenon, is alarming.
Barneso said several preventive measures are now being undertaken to halt the increase of fire incidents.
The country observes Fire Prevention Month this March with the theme Sustaining Fire Prevention Through Active Community Participation.