THE Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Baguio City admitted it lacks equipment to respond to big fires.

Firefighting equipment currently available at the BFP is capable of putting out structural fires of up to four storeys high only.

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To compensate the lack of equipment, City Fire Marshall Richard Villanueva said a memorandum of agreement formalizing the assistance given by water delivery companies and some businessmen in Baguio has been signed recently.

Water delivery companies and local businessmen have already been assisting the BFP by providing water and personnel, said Villanueva.

He added that a technical working group was also created together with Baguio Water District for the installation of fire hydrants, which was not working for the past few years.

With March as the national fire prevention month, the BFP is pushing an advocacy on how to prevent the occurrence of fires.

The number of fire incidents rose from 47 in 2008 to 85 in 2009, Villanueva noted.

However, he added that compared to 2008, 2009 has a lesser amount of damages amounting only to P31 million, compared to P140 million in 2008. (Rimaliza Opiña)