LA TRINDAD, Benguet – Fire incidents in the province significantly increased by a whopping 85.7 percent for the first quarter of this year compared to the recorded fire incidents during the same period last year, a report from the Benguet provincial fire office stated.
Benguet provincial fire marshal Fire Superintendent Jessie Annasiw claimed that there were 35 reported fire incidents during the first quarter of 2022 compared to the 65 fire incidents that were recorded during the first quarter of this year.
Of the 35 fire incidents during the first quarter of last year, Annasiw disclosed that 14 were classified as structural fires, 19 are said to be non-structural fires and 2 are vehicular fires.
On the other hand, the Benguet provincial fire marshal revealed that of the 65 recorded fire incidents for the first quarter of this year, 11 are said to be structural fires, 52 are classified as non-structural fires and there was only one vehicular fire incident.
Superintendent Annasiw claimed that in terms of damages, there were some P16.1 million worth of damages inflicted by the reported structural fires during the first quarter of 2022 compared to P1.9 million worth of damages to property that were inflicted by the structural fire incidents recorded during the first quarter of this year.
According to him, the common causes of fire last year include the explosion of liquified petroleum gas (LPG), caused by defective regulators while the common causes of non-structural fires were smoking lighted cigarette, open flame from land or agricultural area or land clearing operation, children playing with match sticks or lighter, open flame from slash and burn type of farming and open flame from rubbish or bonfire.
The fire marshal called on the public to make sure they put off their stoves when leaving their homes and ensure that match sticks or lighters are beyond the reach of children to avoid the unnecessary occurrence of fire incidents that may pose a significant damage to life and properties.
Annasiw explained that the Benguet provincial fire station will continue to enhance their information and education campaign to the concerned stakeholders to help in reducing the occurrence of fire incidents in the different parts of the province to avoid the untimely loss of lives and damage to properties.
Further, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) continues to extend assistance to the various fire stations to enhance their firefighting capabilities to immediately contain the fires that occur and save lives and properties from unnecessary damages.
With the prevailing summer season, Annasiw warned the public to be extra careful in the handling of the slash and burn type of farming and bonfires and for them to make sure that any lighted materials should be first put out before leaving their places to avoid the fires from gutting other properties and inflict damages to the watershed and reservations in the different parts of the province which is disadvantageous to the efforts in ensuring the preservation and protection of the environment.