Warning issued vs grass fires as dry spell worsens PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 January 2016 11:00

by SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

Because of the extreme weather condition, the public is advised anew to exercise extra caution in open pit burning and other activities dealing with fire.

This, as cases of grass and bushfires has increased lately resulting in damages to property.

City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Elmeir Apolinario said people should desist from burning especially in open vegetations due to the dry weather condition. If they cannot be avoided, Apolinario said people have to be extra cautious as these fires could get out of hand and spread to buildings and other properties.

The CDRRMO together with the Bureau of Fire Protection and other concerned agencies have noted an increase in the number of grass and bushfires in the city recently.

Recall that Zamboanga City has been declared to be under a state of calamity citing damages in agricultural and fishery products due to the prevailing dry weather pattern.

PAG-ASA is set to conduct cloud seeding operations in the city from Feb. 15-28 under the DOST-El Niño Task Force project. The operation is aimed “to modify the weather and to mitigate the impacts of the present El Niño especially on natural water resources for sustainable domestic and industrial water supply, agriculture, power generation and the likes.”

Based on the latest report submitted by the Office of the City Agriculturist (OCA), the agricultural damage due to El Niño has hit P 12.98 M, affecting 779 farmers and 14,903.84 metric ton of agricultural crops, including rice, corn, and assorted vegetables.

The damage covers a total of 716.07 hectares – of which only an estimated 43.79 hectares are expected to have a chance of recovery, the report said. — Sheila Covarrubias