THE Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Northern Mindanao has directed all its city and municipal fire marshals to look for alternate water sources in view of the El Nino phenomenon that has threatened to prevail up to June.

Senior Superintendent Eleuterio N. Iturriaga, regional director of BFP-Northern Mindanao, said due to the El Nino phenomenon, the water crisis is inevitable as experienced by some areas in the region.

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With this, he issued a directive to all the provincial fire marshals in the region to supervise the city/municipal fire marshals and help find alternative means to augment the existing sources of water for use of the fire trucks.

Iturriaga said he requires all fire marshals in the region to submit a list of all the existing source of water they usually use for fire fighting and the alternative sources to be used during emergency situations during the El Nino months.

With March as Fire Prevention Month, Iturriaga called on the residents to be vigilant and prevent the occurrence of fire during this time when load curtailment of electric power is being implemented.

During a forum at the Philippine Information Agency, Iturriaga urged everyone to help prevent the occurrence of fire by unplugging all electrical appliances and not leaving lighted candles unattended during power interruptions.

For the past two months alone, a total of 60 fire incidents had occurred in the region, a 25 percent increase from the number of fire incidents that occurred in the same period last year.

Per type of occupancy, 51 of these fires were classified as structural of which 35 occurred in residential areas, six in factories, five in commercial districts, two in government offices and one each in storage, educational and mixed establishments. Nine others were considered as non-structural fires of which eight were caused by grass, rubbish and forest fires and one incident occurred inside a motor vehicle.

These incidents resulted in property damage worth P26.71 million or an increase of 156.22 percent over that of P10.43 million in the same period last year. (PIA-10)