BFP-Zamboanga sees rise in bushfires amid dry spell

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

May 15, 2023, 9:34 pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) foresees an increase in the number of bushfires in the coming months due to the dry spell.

Supt. Christopher Morales, BFP-Zamboanga City fire marshal, said Monday they have so far recorded 48 bushfires since January.

Of the total, he said 41 were recorded in March and April and seven from May 1 to 11.

“Due to the warm weather, we are expecting the number of bushfires to increase since the grasses are dry,” Morales said.

Rodel Inclan, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration-Zamboanga officer-in-charge, said they recorded a heat index of 45 degrees Celsius for this city and Dipolog City – so far the highest in the region.

Inclan advised residents to stay indoors and limit outdoor activities, bring umbrellas or use hats, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

He said there is an 80-percent possibility that El Niño will be experienced starting June or August this year.

Meanwhile, Morales urged the public, particularly smokers, to refrain from throwing cigarette butts on grasses as these easily catch fire because the grass and leaves are dry.

He said they have coordinated with other government agencies, the city water district, and private companies with water tankers and fire trucks to support them in case of conflagration. (PNA)