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New brush fires break out in Albay, threaten 3 municipalities.

Byline: Ma. April Mier

LEGAZPI CITY -- Three municipalities are threatened by bush and forest fires in the province of Albay.

The bush fire in Barangay Tanagan in the municipality of Bacacay on Cagraray Island has been creeping closer to the villages of Manaet and Malobago, Cedric Daep, head of Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo), told the Inquirer in a telephone interview Friday.

Another forest fire in the town of Manito was observed to be moving toward a reforested area along Cayaban Mountain.

Daep said bush fires flared up anew in the municipality of Rapu-Rapu, affecting the hinterland village of Guadalupe. An earlier bush fire in Rapu-Rapu was doused four days after it broke out on Aug. 1, destroying over 2,000 hectares of farms and grasslands.

Evacuation was needed yet for residents in the three areas affected by the fires, Daep said.

Another brush fire, triggered by the burning of garbage by villagers, was put out Thursday before it could spread beyond 20-square-meter patch of grassland in the village of Balading in Malinao, Daep said.

Daep said two helicopters of the Philippine Air Force were being used to drop seawater on the fires in the affected places.

The brush fires in the first congressional district of Albay started last Friday and have destroyed 2,093 hectares of coconut and other farms on Rapu-Rapu.

Last Monday, separate fires were reported at the Mayon Volcano Natural Park municipality of Sto. Domingo; at a timberland area in Bacacay on Cagraray Island; Barangay Putan in the municipality of Tiwi; and at Sitio Quimahat, Barangay Banban in the town of Manito.

Authorities suspect that kaingineros, or slash-and-burn farmers, triggered the bush fires on Rapu-Rapu but they have yet to determine what caused the bush and forest fires in the other other parts of the province.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 8, 2014
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