Vitali bushfire destroys 40 hectares of farmland PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:38

Forty hectares of farmland including 10 hectares belonging to a police Chief Inspector were destroyed in massive  bushfire at Sitio Gemelina, Barangay Vitali at noon Thursday.

A report from the Vitali Police Station disclosed that the fire broke out after Crispin Alia Omnos, 78, married, a farmer, burned some dried coconut leaves around 11 a.m. The flames became wild and uncontrollable as it scattered to the neighboring property of Chief Insp. Edilberto  Alvarez, destroying 10 hectares of rubber and fruit trees worth close to P2 million.

Aside from Alvarez’ farmland, the bushfire also destroyed rubber and fruit trees belonging to Marcelino Cuartocruz y Gaspar with estimated damage of P300,000, Joaquin Francisco y Silvestre with estimated damage of P300,000 and the house of Alvin Manuel y Pedro with estimated damage of P30,000.

DZT gathered that some of the rubber trees were planted under a government program through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Omnos was held by the police and was turned over to the Bureau of Fire Protection for proper action.

On Wednesday,  the Bureau of Fire Protection’s Zamboanga City District Central Fire Station (BFP-ZCDCFS) said it has recorded a total of 18 bushfires in the different parts of this city since January and reminded the people to stop the indiscriminate burning of bonfires, and dried bushes to prevent fires that may affect the lives and properties in their area.

ZCDCFS District Fire Marshal Supt. Dominador F. Zabala, Jr. said that since January to date, a total of 18 bushfires have been recorded in this city, which could have been prevented if “our people will stop burning dried grasses that could cause fire incidents in their area. For the same period last year a total 18 bush fires was also recorded.

“I appeal to the people to avoid or stop the burning of dried grasses in their areas as this will cause or ignite fires as the city is experiencing long dry spell during the summer months. Let us all be fire safety conscious as the nation observes the Fire Prevention Month this year,” Zabala, appealed.

The ZCDCFS is also on heightened alert this month because of the long dry spell that the city is experiencing and for any fire calls that the fire station receives whether they are prank calls or not, they would always respond to such calls.

However, as compared to the previous years, this year’s Fire Prevention Month has less structural fire incidents recorded so far numbering only 4 compared to 15 last year. This attributed to the continuous fire safety awareness, information and educational campaign being conducted in the different fire prone barangays and major establishments in this city’s east and west coasts, including private and public schools, universities and other institutions, Zabala said   — Dan Toribio