• Tourists evacuated from Nusa Penida hills after forest fire erupts

    A forest fire erupted at Nusa Penida on Aug. 20, 2017. Photos via Instagram/@balebengong, Gede Sukara

    Forest fires erupted in the rugged hills of Nusa Penida’s Kelingking Beach on Sunday, calling for the evacuation of four tourists.

    Nusa Penida is a small island off the southeast coast of Bali in the province’s Klungkung Regency. While gaining popularity with travelers, the island is relatively less developed with limited infrastructure compared to mainland Bali.

    At the time of the fire, there were 24 tourists visiting cliffs around the beach, which is a popularly photographed spot. While 20 were able to flee the flames, four got stuck, trapped by the blaze and had to be evacuated by a joint team of BPBD (the regional disaster management agency), firefighters, military, and police.

    The cause of the fire is not yet known, according to local media, though Tribun Bali published allegations that the fire may have been started by a tourist’s cigarette butt not being put out properly.

    The fire reportedly started around 7:28pm, quickly spreading from shrubbery to trees in the hills overlooking the beach.

    The fire was challenging to extinguish because it was already dark out and of the island’s mountainous terrain, rough roads, and limited water supply, says the fire department.

    “As a result, in addition to it already being night time, all they could do was anticipate the conditions so it would not spread to settled areas,” BPBD Klungkung head, Putu Widiada said, as quoted by Bali Post.

    But thankfully they were able to contain the fire and ultimately kill it.

    “The fire was cut off. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

    “The area of the fire is very large,” Widiada said.

    Meanwhile, Klungkung Police and Fire Department Chief, Putu Suarta says the fire was extinguished “manually,” since the water supply of the department’s fire truck ran out. Consequently, PDAM, the regional water supply company had to send tank trucks from the island’s center, which took around an hour and a half to get there.

    “Fortunately there were no casualties,” said Suarta.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/tourists-evacuated-nusa-penida-hills-forest-fire-erupts/

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