No fire out yet for Apo
DIGOS CITY—Officials exercised caution in declaring an end to the fire on Mt. Apo that had destroyed hundreds of hectares of forest and grassland on the country’s tallest peak.
While an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the fire has been contained, he added that officials could not declare fire out yet pending an assessment by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
Joselin Marcus Fragada, DENR director in Southern Mindanao, said some of the volunteers who helped fight the fire had been pulled out of their stations in the village of Kapatagan here.
Among them were members of the Davao City Central 911.
“We still cannot declare fire out, but we are going there,” said Fragada. “We are making sure that Mt. Apo has no vents now that could possibly start fire,” Fragada added.
“We’re now saying that it’s over, but officially, we hope the BFP will declare fire out before the week ends,” he said.
He said the leadership of the firefighting effort has been turned over to Davao del Sur authorities as fire lines or firebreaks had effectively prevented the fire from spreading.
Fragada said Mt. Apo is now indefinitely closed to mountaineering and related activities.
He said authorities would investigate how the fire started and who should be held responsible for it. Orlando Dinoy, Inquirer Mindanao
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