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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Aerial support deployed to control forest fire in Itogon, Benguet

Benguet, Philippines - The Itogon Municipal Fire Station is actively grappling with the aftermath of a forest fire that erupted in the Philex Mines Corporation area.


Since its onset on Thursday, January 18, 2024, concerns have escalated regarding the potential impact on both forested areas and residential communities.


SFO2 Gary Zaldy Calaoa, Chief Operations Officer of the Itogon MFS, disclosed that the fire is suspected to have originated from uncontrolled burning during a clean-up operation in the Bumolo area of the Philex mines.


Swift action was taken to prevent the fire from encroaching upon nearby residential areas, with firefighting efforts initiated in the mountainous parts along Philex Road.


The fire station, along with volunteers from Philex mines, collaborated to contain the flames and prevent further escalation.


In a related development, the Itogon MFS sought aerial support for Bambi bucket fire suppression from the Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group 1 and the Office of Civil Defense-Cordillera regional office.


Fire Officer 3 Brian Mader-an, Information Officer of the Bureau of Fire Protection – Itogon, highlighted that some areas, particularly in Sitios Santa Fe and Banget in Ampucao, face water shortages as the fire burned the hose connecting them to their water source.


While those near residential zones were declared "fire controlled," an aerial assessment indicates that the forest fire is still in progress.

Regional and local authorities are actively managing its spread, demonstrating their commitment to public safety until the situation is officially declared under control.


As the situation unfolds, stakeholders remain dedicated to suppressing the fire and safeguarding the well-being of the community and its natural surroundings.

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