Benguet Wildfire Destroys 1,000 Hectares of forest and more than 165,000 trees

A wildfire that started last February 18 in the jungles between the towns of Kabayan and Bokod has resulted in heavy costs to the surrounding environment.

(A Huge Forest Fire is Currently Raging in Cordillera Mountains, Benguet)

According to The Philippine Star, at least a thousand hectares of pine forest have been destroyed by the wildfire.

forest fire trees

Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash | Note: Not taken during the Benguet forest fire

After spreading to Barangay Daclan in Kabayan, as reported by Fire Inspector Roy Mayao of the Bokod Bureau of Fire Protection, the fire wreaked even more havoc.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Cordillera stated that a total of 165,620 trees and seedlings were damaged in the 600-hectare natural pine forest in Kabayan. Their total valuation comes up to Php 1.

6 million.

This damage includes the established forest plantations under the Expanded National Greening Program (ENGP) and natural pine forest.

191.54 hectares of ENGP plantations were considered affected with 160,547 trees being damaged or burned. They have a total value of Php 1,564,230.

452.15 hectares of burned natural forest were considered affected with an estimated 4,973 seedlings/saplings being damaged or burned. They have a total value of Php 106,225.

The total burned area of Kabayan spans 643.69 hectares on both ENGP plantations and natural forests, amounting to a valuation of Php 1,670,455. There was no damage to personal property reported.

The DENR explains that the wildfire was aggravated by the biophysical conditions of the area (terrains, heat exposure, wind, etc), forest fire management of concerned agencies, and the lack of prevention for forest fires.

The various forest fires have made some areas inaccessible due to the falling rocks and smoke.

Authorities have closed areas leading to the summit of Mt. Pulag.

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