DENR Bicol intensifies IEC campaign on forest fire prevention

Legazpi City—In the midst of the spate of forest fires in several towns and cities in Albay, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol has made the rounds to drumbeat information regarding forest fire prevention.

DENR Bicol Regional Director Gilbert Gonzales said a roving public address system equipped with advertisement and information was dispatched yesterday to the town of Sto Domingo and City of Tabaco to apprise the public on the do’s and don’t’s in the matter of forest fire prevention.

“We have scheduled these IEC sorties to cover areas directly affected by these widespread bush fires so that the public will be engaged in the prevention of such occurrences which harm the life and property of adjacent communities” Dir. Gonzales said.

According to RD Gonzales, many factors have contributed to the series of bush fires in Rapu-Rapu Island, Lidong, Sto. Domingo, Putsan, Tiwi, Cagraray Island, and Manito Albay.

He said one is the local practice of charcoal making, wherein unattended embers and strong habagat winds would spark a bush fire, another is the clearing practice, here, locales burn yard wastes and debris from the aftermath of typhoon Glenda, which if unchecked will also result to such forest fire.

“The thing is, we should be aware of the eventualities of a wildfire from some unchecked fire remnants, let us be responsible enough to check our surroundings of possible fire agents, and use fire with extreme care whenever near or inside the forest zones, in addition to our current weather system which are characterized by hot, humid and strong monsoon winds,” Gonzales added.

           Based on the initial damage assessment conducted by DENR/CENRO Legazpi City forestry personnel, the estimated damage cost in Rapu-Rapu Island forest fire is at 9 million pesos while the ground assessment to other affected areas are still on-going.

Press Release: August 13, 2014