30 fires in less than 2 mos.

106.75 acres of land scorched
Two firefighters wait for a firetruck as a brush fire spreads along the side of the Tun Joaquin Doi Road in Chalan Kanoa Thursday afternoon. An off-duty firefighter who was passing by the area noticed the blaze and immediately called the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services. After a few minutes, firefighters and a small fire truck came and stopped the blaze from burning a power pole and destroying more vegetation. (Ferdie de la Torre)

Two firefighters wait for a firetruck as a brush fire spreads along the side of the Tun Joaquin Doi Road in Chalan Kanoa Thursday afternoon. An off-duty firefighter who was passing by the area noticed the blaze and immediately called the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services. After a few minutes, firefighters and a small fire truck came and stopped the blaze from burning a power pole and destroying more vegetation. (Ferdie de la Torre)

A total of 30 brush fires hit the CNMI in less than two months, destroying a total of 106.75 acres of vegetation, according to statistics provided yesterday by the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

As a result of those fires that occurred from April 10 to May 29, 2017, a total of 15,287 gallons of water were used. That translates to 76.5 of manpower hours.

According to DFEMS, most of the 30 brush fires occurred on Saipan with 21 reported incidents from May 2 to 29, destroying 28 acres of vegetation. A total of 5,152 gallons of water were used and 40 manpower hours were incurred.

On Rota, there were five reported brush fires from May 22 to 27, scorching 28 acres of vegetation. A total of 185 gallons of water were used and 26 man hours were spent.

Tinian had four reported brush fires from April 10 to 25, damaging 50.75 acres of vegetation. A total of 9,950 gallons of water were used and 10.5 man hours were incurred.

DFEMS spokesman Derek Gersonde said the CNMI’s dry season has only begun and now that summer is here, people are anxious to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

“We break out the tents and grills and make plans for the family,” said Gersonde.

He reminded the public that the best way to battle a grass fire is to prevent it from ever starting.

“If you would like more information, please call DFEMS at 664-9004/3 or visit us at any of the DFEMS stations,” Gersonde said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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