Grassfire near Kanlaon Volcano ‘intentional’

Posted by watchmen
March 18, 2024


By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga and Jen Baylon

A grassfire which affected 35 hectares of forest land at the foot of the Kanlaon Volcano on Thursday night, March 14, may have been intentionally set.

An investigation is now being conducted as to what caused the blaze.

In a radio interview, Engineer Joan Nathaniel Gerangaya, officer-in-charge of the Negros Occidental Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, said they believed the blaze was started by someone who discarded a cigarette butt or engaged in slash-and-burn practices.

The fire occurred at Barangay Biak na Bato in the province’s La Castellana town.

Gerangaya said the blaze was reported to have quickly spread due to strong winds, as well as the dry conditions caused by the ongoing drought in the province.

The grassfire within Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park posed challenges for personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection as they battled the blaze for nearly 24 hours.

Gerangaya said firefighting efforts were hindered by the lack of water in the area, necessitating alternative strategies to bring the situation under control.

He added that the rains helped extinguish the fire to some extent.

Gerangaya said a “fire out” was declared on Friday afternoon, March 15, but area monitoring continued over the weekend due to concerns that the fire would rekindle.

Local authorities are expected to visit the site of the blaze today to consolidate the damage.

Earlier, La Castellana Mayor Rhummyla Nicor-Mangilimutan said there were no houses within Kanlaon Volcano’s four-kilometer danger zone that were affected by the blaze.

Kanlaon Volcano borders Negros Occidental’s La Castellana and Negros Oriental’s Canlaon City./DGB, JB, WDJ


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *