June 17, 2024

Due to the threat of forest fires, Bokod, Benguet Mayor Thomas Wales Jr. has suspended all tourism activities within the town.

In an advisory issued Feb. 22, Wales said all residents and visitors are advised to avoid any tourism activities such as camping, hiking or picnicking in forested areas.

“Due to the recent outbreak of forest fires, all tourism activities within the municipality are suspended until further notice. This advisory is made to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and visitors,” Wales stated.

He urged the public to remain vigilant and to report any signs of fire or smoke immediately to the authorities.

Wales, who heads the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC), has asked the residents to cooperate with the directives of the local government and emergency services to ensure the swift containment of the forest fires. 

Concerned individuals are advised to contact the MDRRM Office at 0998-330-9455 or 0916-252-2104 or the Municipal Tourism Office at 0907-960-7236 for information and updates.

On Feb. 21, a fire hit barangay Adonot in Bokod town.

The Philippine Air Force was requested to help in extinguishing the fire, where it deployed a super Huey helicopter operated by its 505th Search and Rescue Group to extinguish the fire.

“Performing a series of heli bucket operations, the aircraft collected water from the Sto. Tomas Water Reservoir and Banao River,” the PAF said in a statement on Feb. 21.

Along with the forest fires in Bokod, the PAF also performed the operation in Mount Camisong in Itogon town. – Ofelia C. Empian