Philippines — Forest fires have been ravaging the forests here resulting in burned electric posts, electric lines getting grounded and power interruptions affecting thousands of households.
This as Mountain Province Electric Company general manager Jude Domoguen and Provincial Natural Resources Office officer Manny Pogeyed said barangays must enact rules to prevent forest fires.
Power interruptions have been recorded in Sagada, Besao, Tadian, Sabangan, Bauko, Bontoc and Natonin from March 19 to 23 as result of forest fires.
Domoguen said power tripped due to grounded transmission lines while several electric posts were burned or toppled.
Fires noted in six municipalities affected electric feeders 1, 2, and 3 covering 19,417 household-consumers.
Power tripping due to forest fires came earlier than the scheduled National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) brownout from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 19 affecting 10 municipalities.
Power tripped at 1:05 a.m. of March 19 covering MOPRECO feeder 3 due to four electric poles burned at mounts Balitian and Ipis at Bontoc affecting 13,628 consumers in municipalities of Bontoc and Natonin. Power only resumed at 12:14 p.m. on March 20 after MOPRECO crew carried poles to the mountains to replace the burned electric posts.
On March 20, another power interruption was noted from 10:25 a.m. to 11:16 a.m. after a forest fire at Balili, Bontoc burned MOPRECOs service drop. On the same day, a brown out was noted at 3:20 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Sagada and Besao due to the burning of three electric posts at mounts Ampanga at Antadao, Sagada affecting 5,100 consumers.
On March 22, a power interruption, from 4:11 a.m. to 9 a.m., was noted in Sabangan near the vicinity of Tesda building due to the burning of an electric post.
On the same day, an electric tripping was noted at 10:30 p.m. which lasted until 10 a.m. the following day, March 23, due to an electric line hit by a burned tree at Maba-ay, Bauko.
A brief power interruption was noted in Natonin affecting feeder 3 from 7 a.m. to 7:11 a.m. due to water-grounded transmission lines.
Domoguen said prevention of forest fires is a concern of everybody. He called on barangay officials to enact their respective ordinances on forest fire prevention.
Pogeyed said barangay officials must take note of the danger period with the absence of rain thereby making forests vulnerable to fire due to moisture loss in the soil and must regulate activities in forested areas.