As many as 25 tourists were trapped when bushes on Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida, Bali caught fire on Sunday 30th July 2023.
The fire occurred around 4:30 pm WITA/local Bali time and was only extinguished a few hours later at 7.30 pm WITA. The fire quickly spread, burning the bush area due to the strong wind blowing, blocking access for tourists who were on the beach at that time.
The Head of Nusa Penida Police, Police Commissioner Ida Bagus Putra Sumerta, said that the fire emerged from under the cliff and then spread upwards, burning approximately two hectares of land, including road access from the top of the cliff towards the beach.
“As a result, tourists who are on the beach are trapped and cannot climb to the top of the cliff because the only footpath that they have to take from the land route was also burnt,” said Sumerta.
A fire department that was deployed an hour later also had difficulty putting out the fire but eventually managed to do so from the top point of the fire.
“Everyone was moving – the police, military, and the community were participating in putting out the fire,” he added.
The Head of the Municipal Police and Klungkung Fire Department, Dewa Suwarbawa, noted, “Fortunately, the water reservoir owned by Perumda Air Drinking Klungkung is full, which was used to put out the fire.”
The cause of the bushfire is not yet known. However, Suwarbawa mentioned the possibility of tourists discarding cigarette butts while they were still burning.
The 25 tourists trapped under the cliffs of Kelingking Beach were assisted back to safety as soon as the fire was extinguished at 7:30 pm WITA. Of the 25 tourists who were trapped, one tourist from France suffered minor injuries on the head by being hit by a rock during the fire.