BAGUIO CITY — Government firefighters, aided by volunteers, remained at the scene of a forest fire in Bontoc, Mountain province that broke out shortly before noon on Thursday to make sure it would not spread any farther.

Arson probers were still trying to determine how the fire started in Barangay Teng-ab, Bontoc as villagers worked hand-in-hand with firemen from the Bontoc Municipal Fire Station (MFS) in dousing the fire with water.

The Bontoc Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been actively coordinating with local authorities and has requested additional support to help prevent the fire near a tourist attraction from worsening.

Private water delivery trucks rushed to the scene to ensure enough water for firefighters to use.

Since the start of February, bush fires have been reported in various locations, especially forest and grasslands in Benguet, especially in Itogon, Tuba, Bokod and Atok and Baguio City.

Over a hundred hectares of forestlands have been eaten up by these freak fires, based on BFP estimates. — Artemio A. Dumlao