Grass fires hit Bacolod



The Bureau of Fire Protection said a grass fire razed through seven hectares of land near the Northbound Terminal in Barangay Banago, Bacolod City, at past 5 p.m. April 2.

It reached first alarm status and a fire out was declared by 6 p.m., as 26 fire fighters, seven firetrucks, one rescue truck, and an ambulance immediately responded to the area.

Mayor Alfredo Benitez and other city officials also visited the area last night, thanked the fire responders and volunteers for immediately controlling the grass fire, and checked on the residents of the Missionaries of Charity Home of Joy.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Benitez and other city officials check on the residents of the Missionaries of Charity Home of Joy, following a grass fire that hit nearby April 2. | Bacolod PIO photo

“I’m happy to know nga safe and secure ang mga residents kag patients sang Home of Joy,” he said in a post.

The city Public Information Office said the Home has six nun missionaries, 23 children, 54 staff and other helps/volunteers, adding that Benitez led the distribution of food and water.

The BFP said it responded to two other grass fire incidents in Bacolod April 2 as the heat index forecast reached 42 degrees Celsius.

In March alone, at least 130 grass fires have been reported by the Bacolod City Fire Station.

Since January, BFP Bacolod personnel responded to 262 fire calls involving grass fires.

Chief Insp. Stephen Jardeleza, city fire marshal, said they sometimes employ controlled burning to combat recurring grass fires, similar to what they did April 1 at the city’s Reclamation Area.

“In a controlled burning situation, we control the direction and volume of the fire and the use of fuel load. We use grass cutter and backpack sprayer, and not always rely on fire hose. Still, firetrucks on standby,” he added in a Philippine News Agency report.

Some two hectares of grassland were razed by fire in Barangay Bata yesterday morning. At past noontime, a grass fire also occurred in Barangay Handumanan.

An almost two-hour grassfire also took place in Barangay Alijis at noon April 1.

Last month, the Bacolod City Fire Station received a total of 205 fire calls.

Aside from 130 grass fires, the rest involved rubbish – 26; post fire – 20; residential fire – 15; sugarcane field – 6; commercial fire – 5; and vehicular fire – 3. | CGC, PNA