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Batac: Ilocos Norte LGU bans visitors to Mt. Lammin to prevent grassfires

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Mt. Lammin, the home of the largest coffee plantation in Ilocos Region and one of the coldest parts in Ilocos Norte, has been temporarily closed for visitors effective March 18 to prevent grassfires.

“This serves as a preventive measure against possible grassfires that cause potential damage to Mount Lammin, and to ensure the safety of wildlife and the welfare of the community,” Piddig town mayor Georgina Guillen said in a notice to public signed March 18 and posted on the town’s Facebook page on Tuesday.

Mt. Lammin, located in the villages of Estancia and Dupitac in Piddig, is famous for its cold weather and the pine trees all over the mountain ranges.

Since January this year, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has already recorded 18 forest fires and 10 grassfires in the province.

Five of the forest fires happened in Nueva Era, followed by four each in Piddig and Solsona, as well as in Vintar, three, and one each in Burgos and Pasuquin, provincial fire marshall Roxanne Annie Parado said in her report during the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council meeting at the Capitol session hall on Tuesday afternoon.

Parado said the provincial fire unit is not well-equipped in fighting forest fires since this has been a rare occurrence in previous years.

Last year, the municipality of Piddig also spearheaded the establishment of checkpoints leading to its mountainous sites.

The checkpoints were located in Barangay 22, Boyboy Junction national road along the Piddig-Carasi-Solsona highway, and in Barangay 18 Estancia in the boundary of Sitio Utoy and Guisit in Barangay Maruaya-Calambeg and were manned by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the BFP.

Provincial environment and natural resources officer Victor Dabalos told the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday that the latest move of the Piddig local government is spot-on to protect the mountain from harm.

“Grassfire incidents are caused by human activities. Even the Solsona-Apayao road should already be closed during the fire month,” he said. (Leilanie Adriano)

(Source: Philippine News Agency)

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