Forest fire threatens Mount Banahaw in Quezon
LUCENA CITY — A forest fire broke out in Dolores town in Quezon province, threatening Mount Banahaw, an official of the Bureau of Fire Protection reported.
Senior Fire Officer 1 Susana Pedernal, Dolores fire station chief, said the fire was reported around 1:15 p.m. in Barangay Pinagdanlayan near the boundary of Dolores and Candelaria town.
As of 6:20 p.m., the fire that had already razed more than a hectare of grassland, Pedernal said.
Firefighters still had not reached the area as it was hard to reach.
“Our firefighters and volunteers were still in the Pinagdalayan area to contain the fire to prevent it from reaching Mount Banahaw,” Pedernal said in a phone interview.
Quoting information from villagers, Pedernal blamed the slash-and-burn farmers (kaingeros) as the possible culprits behind the fire.
Salud Pangan, Department of Environment and Natural Resources park superintendent for the adjacent Mounts Banahaw and San Cristobal, said they were also on standby with their teams of volunteer firefighters.
“Our task is to prevent the fire from reaching Banahaw forest ground,” she said in a separate phone interview.
In April 2016, an 18-hour fire destroyed more than 50 hectares of cogon land atop Mount Masalukot in Candelaria town near the present fire site. /atm
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