European Union Project Promotes Forest Fire Prevention in Benguet

DSC_0096 (1)“We are very thankful that we had this kind of training because it taught us how to put out  forest fires, how to make fire lines and how to manage the community in case of forest fires” Mr. Salvador Sab-it, Loo, Buguias Kagawad said.

As part of the activities of the Saving the Benguet Watershed for Water Project, the Jaime V Ongpin Foundation conducted a Forest Fire Prevention and Basic First Aid Training  for barangay forest protection committees of Loo, Buguias and Poblacion, Atok last December 4 & 6, 2012; Sagpat, Kibungan last December 11, 2012; Ambassador, Tublay, Banangan, Sablan, and Poblacion, Bokod last December 17 & 18, 2012.

The trainings focused on the application of prescribed burning as a tool in forest fire management; the principles of forest fire detection size up, fire line construction, suppression methods, mop-up and post fire assessment; identification of the different necessary fire fighting tools and demonstration of the proper handling and usage and or/use of appropriate indigenous fire fighting material.  Participants were equipped with skills in the execution of  basic  forest fire behaviour; impacts of fuel composition, climate/ weather and slope/terrain; and defining the structure, forest fire control organization.  They were also trained on the roles of fire head and crew members, and orientation on fire safety and basic first-aid in fire fighting.

 “We had bad experiences in the past when we were trying to put out a fire that occurred in our forest, someone was badly injured because we lack the knowledge on how to properly handle this kind of situation. We are very thankful that we had the chance to be part of this training. We have learned a lot. Aside from that, we have also learned the techniques and safety measures in putting out forest fires” added by Mr. Jackson Lag-asan, Community Waterworks Association (CWA) president.

The “Saving the Benguet Watershed for Water” is a PHP 25Million grant project funded by the European Union .

With these training programs, backed with fire fighting equipment to be also provided by this project, the barangay forest brigades will soon be on the ground, ensuring that the people and the forest are safe from fire especially during the upcoming dry months.