DAVAO CITY - The Mount Apo fire is not yet “fire out but fire under control”, the Davao regional Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) here said on Friday, April 15.
Fire Inspector Nestor Jimenez of BFP said that the fire has been contained as of 11:30 AM on Thursday, April 14.
Jimenez said that they started overhauling the area using a shovel to determine small fires.
“We shovel underneath until the surface to determine if there are small fires,” Jimenez said.
He clarified on the press conference at Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office that the Mt. Apo fire is not yet declared as “fire out.”
He explained that there are still some areas that has fire and must be controlled.
“There is a possibility that in three to five days another fire will erupt, so we will not declare fire out yet,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez updated that there are 42 volunteers now in the Kapatagan area in Digos City, Davao del Sur.
Harry Chester Camoro, provincial National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) officer said that a total of 111 hectares of land were damaged and affected by the fire.
“As of now, if you will go to the area we are now in our recovery phase on our logistics,” Camoro said.
He shared that Mt. Apo will now enter its rehabilitation and monitoring phase on Monday, April 18.
“We will have new rounds of meetings and planning for all the activities that are line up on the rehabilitation and monitoring on the Mt. Apo forest fire,” Camoro said.
Atty. Felix S. Alicer, DENR assistant regional director for technical services said that the command center for the Mt. Apo fire has now transferred at the DENR Digos where the coordination and planning will be made.
Alicer reported that they are supposed to have a thermal scanning Friday, April 14, but failed because of the cloud cover.
“Thermal scanning is necessary in order to determine the status of the fire,” Alicer said. He said that they re-scheduled the thermal scanning on April 18 to 22.
Alicer asked for the coordination of the BFP and DRRM for the operation.
“Thermal scanning will determine the status of the Mountain as fire out,” Alicer said.
Alicer said that DENR would put an assessment team to determine the extent of the damaged, and also to assess the damaged areas.
“To a certain extent, there is some parts of the forest area that were burned but that will be further determined after the assessment,”Alicer confirmed.
As of now, the DENR is still unable to estimate how long will the rehabilitation process of Mt. Apo take.
Alicer said that the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are willing to fund the rehabilitation of the Mountain since it is part of the ASEAN Heritage Parks. (davaotoday.com)