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Grass fires destroy rubber trees in Cotabato

Published March 21, 2016 8:47am By MALU CADELINA MANAR KIDAPAWAN CITY – More than a hundred rubber trees were razed by a grass fire on Saturday after a still unidentified villager allegedly threw a cigarette lighter on dried leaves in Barangay Pulang Lupa, M’lang, around 3 p.m.

The fire, which lasted for at least an hour, was the second incident since last week.


The first was last Friday when a grass fire damaged at least 20 rubber trees, also in Barangay Pulang Lupa.


On March 15, more than a thousand trees planted on a two-hectare lot inside a forest rehabilitation area in Barangay Amas in this city were destroyed by grass fire, which lasted for three hours.


Most of those damaged trees were endangered species, including lawaan and molave, according to Jonathan Arquilla, caretaker at the Research Center of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).


Arquilla hinted a cigarette butt caused the fire.


He said the incident was the third since February 22.


Fire officials in North Cotabato said they responded to at least 30 grass fires in towns of M’lang, Matalam, Magpet, Makilala, and in Kidapawan City, since January.


They said the severe dry spell or drought has worsened the situation. — KG, GMA News






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