Phillipines — BAGUIO CITY – With the onset of the summer season, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is calling on the public to help protect the remaining forest reserves in the region against fire.
Bureau of Fire Protection Cordillera (BFP-CAR) Public Information Officer SFO 2 Josesito Dollete, in a press conference launching the observance of Fire prevention Month this March, disclosed that forest fires remain a concern in the region as in 2012 alone, 47 grass, rubbish and forest fire incidents were recorded, higher than the 36 cases recorded in 2011.
According to Dollente, frequent cause of forest fires are burned garbage left unattended and lighted cigarette butts carelessly thrown. He admitted that they lack the equipments to deal with forest fires so they are partnering with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for such effort.
He explained though that if the grass or forest fire is near the roadside, this they can handle easily.
Fire Chief Inspector Joe Ferdinand Bangyod , Baguio City Fire Marshall , in the same forum, said they are partnering with the city government and private environmental groups in the advocacy against the prevention of forest fires in the city.
He reported that during the first quarter of 2013 alone, cases of forest fires have damaged at least 17.5 hectares of forest reservations in the city and the burning of around 120 trees.
Dollente and Bangyod are enjoining the public and the community to also help support the advocacy so that “Together we can protect our environment, particularly our forests, which is very important especially with the present concern of climate change.”
For this years observance of Fire Prevention Month, scheduled activities are focused on an intensified fire safety and prevention advocacy campaign down to the household level as BFP statistics show that most of the structural fire incidents are residential.
For Cordillera alone, BFP reported 106 residential fire incidents in 2012 mostly due to kitchen management accidents.