Fires also hit reforestation project sites
ILOILO CITY—Reforestation projects in Western Visayas have not been spared by the intense heat that has triggered forest and grass fires in recent months.
Some 107,000 seedlings, saplings and trees in the region have been lost to forest fires, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
In Aklan province, grass fires affected 11.53 hectares of land in Barangays Tigbawan and Alas-as in Madalag town.
Thirteen fires also hit project sites under the National Greening Program (NGP) in Belison and Culasi towns, both in Antique province, affecting 620.26 ha, according to the DENR.
The NGP is a massive reforestation project launched on May 13, 2011, and aims to plant 1.5 billion seedlings in 1.5 million ha of public lands from 2011 to 2016.
In Capiz province, two forest fires triggered by “kaingin” (slash-and-burn) activities damaged 8.5 ha of plantation while four forest fires affected 56.5 ha in Iloilo City.
The DENR directed field offices to monitor incidents of forest and grass fires and coordinate with Bureau of Fire Protection stations, said Jim Sampulna, its regional executive director.
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