ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/29 March) – The city government has aired an urgent appeal to residents to avoid outdoor fires including slash and burn activities as this may cause lives and properties due to the continuing dry spell.
This, as the Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) recorded a total of 29 grass and bushfire incidents since January 1, this year.
Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (CDRRMO), said barangay officials should monitor, advocate and assist authorities in preventing of outdoor fires and slash and burn activities in their respective area of responsibility.
Apolinario, who is also the assistant city administrator, said grasses and plants had withered due to the drought and “so people should stop outdoor fires as this may spread and cause lives and properties.”
Supt. Dominador Zabala Jr., ZCFD fire marshal, disclosed that Barangay Salaan has recorded the highest number of bushfire at four incidents.
The biggest damage caused by bushfire was last March 19 wherein 40 hectares of farmland mostly planted to coconuts with an estimated worth of P1.8 million was burned at Sitio Gemelina, Barangay Vitali, 83.99 kilometers east of city hall.
The bushfire in Vitali was caused by a bonfire that went out of control.
Apolinario stressed that this city has suffered much from calamities so fire safety and prevention measures should be the concern of everybody. (MindaNews)