Dagupan City dumpsite blaze raging for days

DAGUPAN CITY — Firefighters are still suppressing the blaze that broke out at the open dump site in Bonuan here starting at 1:00 a.m. of Thursday and is still continuously raging.

With the thick black smoke that the blaze emits, a serious health concern arose among residents of barangays Bonuan Gueset, Boquig and Binloc for the last four days.

Dagupan City Fire Marshal Romy Tungpalan confirmed that the blaze is still on but is being contained by the combined firefighters from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Dagupan, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office as well as CSI with the help of firefighters from Calasiao, Mangaldan, Manaoag and San Fabian.

However, because of the hot weather, spontaneous combustion caused by methane gas deposited in layers upon layers of garbage and fanned by strong wind from the sea has added fuel to the fire.

Tungpalan said compounding to the problem is the inability of firefighters to get near the affected area because only one fire truck can enter the narrow road leading to the dumpsite at a time.

The hose of each fire truck cannot reach the blaze site.

The fire marshal noted that the fire at the dump site broke out at about the same time when a fire started on a vacant lot in front of Leisure Coast Resort in Barangay Bonuan Binloc, some one kilometer away.

A report said that blaze started in the middle of the dumpsite at past noon of Thursday reportedly ignited by a baby rocket fired by a still unknown person from a nearby area.

Perhaps, only a heavy rain can help extinguish the blaze completely, nearby residents said.

Mayor Belen Fernandez is closely monitoring the dumpsite blaze and in fact ordered the City Waste Management Office to build an additional temporary road leading to the middle of the dumpsite.

The mayor announced that the open dump site is really now up for closure once the waste-to-worth project that could convert garbage into diesel fuel is already up in the city.

The project, she said, is now undergoing evaluation by concerned government agencies, including the private company that will operate and build it.

The waste-to-worth project will be put up as the city has no adequate area where a sanitary landfill could be built. PNA-northboundasia.com