Mt. Ulap fire incident a hoax

POLICE clarified over the week that the fire incident in Sitio Santa Fe, Barangay Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet, is not part Mt. Ulap frequented by hikers.

Itogon Police Chief Eugene Lagadan Raymundo said the fire incident occurred around 6 p.m. of January 22. Personnel of Banget Community Police Assistance Center, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team, and firefighters of Philex Mining Corporation fire department responded and declared the fire out around 9 p.m.

Raymundo saiid the social media post had caused dismay and hesitation among tourists planning to visit the popular hiking destination.

Close to one hectare was burned outside Mt. Ulap with no reported injuries and casualties reported.

Authorities believed the fire started after a cigarette butt was thrown by a motorist passing along the Philex road.

Benguet Governor Crescencio Pacalso advised the public to be responsible in using social media.

"We have social media to take advantage of and we should be considerate to others not to create situations where it can cause panic," he said.

Mt. Ulap is still open for hiking and trekking activities, but tourists have to register first with the barangay and pay the necessary fees.

The popular destination is known for its pine and grasslands with stunning views of the mountains. It is 40 minutes away from Baguio City by jeepney.
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