BONTOC, Mountain Province – Hectares of land have been affected by forest fires in two different locations in Barangay Bontoc Ili, Bontoc, Mountain Province, yesterday, February 14, 2023.
Per a report from the Bontoc Emergency Operations Center, the first forest fire was in Sitio Napu, Barangay Bontoc Ili. The Bontoc EOC received the information from the Bontoc Municipal Fire Station (MFS) at 4:40 in the afternoon and immediately coordinated with the concerned agencies and responded to the incident site.
The fire burned the makeshift structure owned by Encarnacion “Kayba” Tibang and rented by Ariz Bugarin from Santiago City, Isabela with an estimated damage cost of P7,000. It rapidly spread to the surrounding dried vegetation, thereby resulting in the burning of 15.72 hectares of land.
With the prompt response from the Bontoc MFS, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Bontoc Emergency Response Team (BERT), Bontoc Municipal Police Station, CENRO –Sabangan, and community volunteers, the fire was contained at 7:40 in the evening.
However, a second forest fire was reported at Balitian, Barangay Bontoc Ili. Thus, the responders proceeded to the incident site and contained the fire at 10:20 in the evening of February 14.
For the two separate forest fire incidents, there are no reported injuries or casualties while the cause of the two forest fires is yet to be determined.
Bontoc Mayor Jerome “Chagsen” Tudlong, Jr., who also chairs the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) solicited the cooperation of the public in the campaign for fire prevention and safety.
He appealed to the public to be mindful of the impact of forest fires on the environment, the health of the public, and the safety of motorists and responders, especially since the recent forest fire incidents are near the road and residential areas.
Also, the mayor thanked everyone for their prompt response, thus, the fires were immediately contained.