Help prevent grass fires, LGUs urge residents

LAOAG CITY — As the summer heat sears, residents in mountainous villages of Ilocos Norte where grass fires usually occur are alerted to help prevent it.

As early as March, some Barangay Ranger Officers (BROs) had already constructed fire lines to protect existing tree plantations.

In search of seasonal wild honey and ant eggs — an exotic food with a high demand in the market — some unscrupulous individuals going up the mountains may accidentally or intentionally start fire, which easily spreads out due to high temperature and strong winds.

Estrella Sacro of the Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) said hundreds of BROs are deployed in the different parts of the province to monitor such activities.

Earlier, hectares of forest lands in Barangay San Marcelino, Dingras and in the boundaries of Piddig and Carasi were hit by multiple grass fires.

This prompted local authorities to organize an information caravan as they urge residents to prevent grass fires and help nurture the environment.

Authorities said millions of government funds are being poured out on forest rehabilitation projects but all these may just be in vain if some irresponsible people continue to destroy the environment.

In Piddig and Carasi towns for example, village officials came up with a registration logbook to monitor all people who go up the mountains. With this, it is easier for them to trace the suspects should a grass fire happen.

Fire brigades in every village in coordination with Ilocos Norte 911 emergency hotline were also organized to facilitate quick response during fire or other emergency situations. Leilanie G. Adriano/