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Fighting Fire with Tiny Trickles of Water

Only 35% of Bali's Capital of Denpasar Fire Hydrants Functional.

(11/22/2010) The growing threat of fire in Denpasar is not being addressed through the installation of sufficient fire hydrants. What's more, only 35% of the wholly inadequate total of 267 fire hydrants in Bali's capital city are functionally functional.

Reported in the Bali Post, the chief of the Disaster Relief Agency for Bali (BPBD), I Made Sudana Satrigraha, said the large number of non-functioning hydrants is due to inadequate water supply feeding the hydrant system.

At present, firemen are forced to draw water from properly functioning hydrants - sometimes over a great distance, or via emergency pumps drawing water from local surface sources.

Satrigraha also confirmed that the fittings on 12 hydrants have been recently replaced to make fire-hose fittings compatible with the hydrants that were originally installed in the 1970s.

Denpasar currently has an armada of 21 fire trucks, ranging from large trucks to smaller vehicles able to penetrate the many small side streets of the capital. Said Satrigraha: "If I look at our armada, I think the size is sufficient. What's needed is better maintenance and additional equipment to be placed on the existing fleet of fire trucks.