The city government of Kidapawan City has ordered the closure of Mount Apo for a period of three to five years due to negligent trekkers who started a disastrous fire over the Holy Week.
The fire is said to be raging and moving quickly – so far almost 200 hectares have been consumed.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Davao 911 system onto the mountain and help save Mount Apo from major destruction.
The fire has burned a large portion of the forest that faces the Davao City side and can be seen from the city at nighttime.
Kidapawan City officials are saying that the mountain will need at least three years to come back from the devastation, as well as give time for the El Niño effect to reverse itself and bring the mountain back to its former glory.
A press release issued by Kidapawan City said as follows: “Effective March 27 the trek to Mt. Apo is closed to give way for the restoration of its natural habitat.”
Officials say the fire was started after several irresponsible trekkers left a bonfire burning.
“We have to sacrifice in closing the annual climb as I cannot sacrifice Mount Apo that has served as landmark for greatness for centuries through its rich natural resources,” city Mayor Joseph Evangelista said.
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