The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in the Cordillera region is urging village officials to institutionalize the creation of fire brigades to help protect the forests and watersheds in their respective areas.

“We are urging the different village officials to institutionalize the creation of (a) fire brigade in every barangay in the region to help us in maintaining fire lines,” Fire Senior Supt. Maria Sofia Mendoza, BFP-Cordillera director, said in an interview on Wednesday.

Mendoza said they are currently identifying forested areas in the various barangays in the entire region, where fire lines need to be established.

Fire lines or fire breaks are cleared areas of the forest or forests with the residential area, preventing flames from spreading to the other side.

“Once we have created these fire lines, we will be needing the help of the different fire brigades to maintain the fire lines. We do not want these forest fires to reach residential areas because it will be chaotic,” she said.

Mendoza said barangay fire brigade volunteers will be receiving regular training from BFP-Cordillera as to how to maintain fire lines.

“The fire brigade volunteers will serve as force multipliers to aid the government in safeguarding civilians and ensuring the safety of people,” she said.
In Baguio, 16 barangay volunteer fire brigades, out of the 128 in the region, have been tasked to maintain fire lines. (PNA)

By Pamela Mariz Geminiano