By Christina Hermoso
The Diocese of Baguio has appealed for prayers for rain to help suppress the fire that has been raging in the Cordillera mountains since Wednesday last week.
The latest wildfire follows a nine-day forest fire that destroyed 150 hectares of trees in Kabayan, Benguet.
Rev. Fr. Manuel Flores, social action commission director of the Baguio diocese said, no casualties have been reported and there is no immediate need for relief “but we need rain for the wildfire to stop. We are appealing for prayers for rain,” Flores said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The wildfire has already destroyed at least 20 hectares of pine trees in Sitio Nalseb, Ambassador, Tublay, Benguet. Fire Officer 1 Richard Watas of the Tublay Bureau of Fire Protection said two of their firetrucks and one from the La Trinidad fire station were joined by villagers who trekked hours to the site of the blaze and tried to suppress the fire manually.
Last March, a forest fire that lasted an hour also struck in Barangay Ambassador in Sitio Sto. Niño.
“We are currently assessing the situation and helping inform our parishioners about it. Right now, we are praying for rain. Please pray for rain to help stop the wildfire,” Flores said.
Fr. Flores said, one of the reasons for the fire might be the practice of kaingin (slash and burn) which spreads to the cogon grass and results to a wildfire.