Fire razes 50-hectare forest in Davao Oriental-A A +A
Friday, September 28, 2012
A FOREST fire has been raging in the mountains of Banaybanay, Davao Oriental since Wednesday.
As of Thursday afternoon, authorities estimated about 50 hectares of forests have been razed by the fire that started noontime on Wednesday.
Authorities said the fire started when farmers tried to burn a beehive at Purok 7 in Barangay Pintatagan at around 11 a.m. on September 26. The small fire suddenly spread uncontrollably as it was fanned by strong winds in the mountain that day.
Maher Loren, Pintatagan Forest Developers Association president, denied that the farmers were doing slash and burn (kaingin) activity in the area that resulted in the forest fire.
"Nakasugat daw sila ug kanang mamaak na mananap, mga lampinig mao to ilang gisunog," Loren said in an interview with the ABS-CBN news team.
Residents of nearby Pantukan, Compostela Valley stayed awake and were watching the fire from afar for fear that the fire could reach their houses.
"Wala mi nakatulog kay nagsige mi og lantaw ug asa gyud na paingon modagan ang sunog (We can't sleep. We continue to monitor is the fire could reach us)," resident Sofia Sison said.
Banaybanay fire department head, Senior Fire Officer 1 Roque Labos, said they were not able to reach the fire as of this posting Thursday, as the area is located 1,000 feet above sea level and the area is inaccessible.
The forest area is planted with trees like falcata, magkuno, talisay gubat and narra.
The mountain of Banaybanay is not new to forest fires. Some residents in the mountain are suspected to be involved in kaingin while others are into selling wood charcoals.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 29, 2012.