Grass fires destroy vegetation in San Roque, Tanapag

Three grass fires destroyed a total of over an acre of vegetation near the Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School in San Roque and at the Tanapag Cemetery Monday afternoon and night.

No one was reported injured in the three incidents.

Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Derek Gersonde said the first fire was reported at 1:25pm by a GTC school staff.

Gersonde said firefighters from DFEMS Susupe Fire Station-Forestry 1 Unit extinguished the blaze at 3:27pm.

At 4:45pm, another caller reported that the grass fire had broken out at the same location.

Firefighters from Susupe and Garapan fire stations responded and fully killed the blaze at 6:40pm.

Gersonde said the cause of the first fire is undetermined, while the second fire was just a rekindling of the first incident.

Gersonde said a total of half an acre of vegetation was burned and that DFEMS used 1,750 gallons of water for the two operations.

At 6:44pm, a caller reported that fire had broken out at the Tanapag Cemetery.

Firefighters from the Susupe Fire Station-Forestry I Unit stamped out the fire at 7:16pm.

Gersonde said about a quarter of an acre was burned and that DFEMS used 250 gallons of water for the operation.

“The cause of the fire is undetermined and is being investigated,” he said.

As the CNMI’s dry season has begun, a brush fire swept 4.5 acres of vegetation in Papago last Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, multiple brush fires occurred on Tinian and Rota.

Gersonde reminded the public that the best way to battle grass fires is to prevent it from ever starting.

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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

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