Central Luzon

Bush fire hits Mt. Arayat

Joann Manabat

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Bush fire hits Mt. Arayat

BUSH FIRE. A fire razed a portion of Pampanga's Mount Arayat that destroyed 12 hectares on Thursday, April 4.

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According to the Bureau of Fire Protection in Magalang town, the estimated 12-hectare open space includes a private property and small portion of the protected forest reservation area

PAMPANGA, Philippines – A bush fire on Thursday night, April 4, razed a portion of Mount Arayat in Pampanga province that destroyed some 12 hectares.

According to the Bureau of Fire Protection in Magalang town, the estimated 12-hectare open space included a private property and parts of the protected forest reservation area.

Senior fire officer John Patrick Manuel said the fire started on Tuesday, April 2, at the south peak area of the mountain and flared up two days later. It was declared out at around 1:30 am on Friday.

Yung fire po kasi nagstart sa bandang gitna sa taas tapos naglakad siya. Mabagal siya eh. Two days ago pa nasusunog kaso naramdaman lang dito sa Magalang dahil lumakad siya,” said Manuel.

(The fire started at the middle at the top portion then it fanned out. It was slow. It was already burning two days ago but it was only felt here in Magalang because it fanned out.)

Actually walang tumawag sa amin. Pag kasi nasa taas ng bundok, alam ng mga tao hindi makakaakyat yung firetruck. Pagkakita namin nagpunta kami sa paanan ng Arayat saka kami nag-asses saka kami sumilip sa mga residential na pwedeng puntahan. Bandang gitna siya saka kalat po siya. Wala naman residente na naapektuhan,” he added.

(Actually no one called us. When it’s at the top of the mountain, people know the firetruck can’t drive there. As soon as we saw it, we went to the foot of the mountain and then we assessed. We checked the residential areas that can be visited. It’s in the middle and it’s scattered. No residents were affected.)

According to Dan, a wait staff at the nearby bed and breakfast and restaurant, the fire also spread in the vicinity behind their cabins as they were already in keeping an eye before the fire spreads out.

“We were already monitoring it before the fire gets worse. We are thankful that it was cleared out right away,” Dan said.

Manuel said the fire burned mostly grass and bushes and did not spread to old trees even though the heat from the sun as well as the wind contributed to the spread of the fire.

The local fire department said it immediately attended the incident. However, the accessibility to the grass fire was also difficult as it took two hours to hike to the area.

“Mahirap yung kung saan lang pwede ang sasakyan. From there nag hike na kami papunta sa area dala-dala yung ginawa naming fire splatter,” he said 

Manuel furthered while they were battling the upland in Mt. Arayat, a small grass fire also started in the low land area in Barangay Sto. Rosario which prompted the firefighters to break into two groups.

The cause of the fire in Mt. Arayat and Sto. Rosario remains unknown as investigation is still ongoing, said Manuel. 
Manuel said they have reminded the public to take precautionary measures amid the onset of the dry season. – Rappler.com

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