I . c [ The annual return of the United Fire Brigades' Association of New Zealand for 18S9 shows that there arc 50 affiliated brigades in the Colony, r established wibhin tbe period from 1857 to j 18S9, having 15G officers and 902 men, 50 iof -whom reside at stations. They own 12 sh>aiD, 44 manual, and 3 canvas engines ; : 19 ladder carriages, tho length of ladders ] being 3465 ft; 11 firo escapes and 96 hoso ' reels. Instruction in ambulance matters is given to 11 brigades. Tho district under protection is 39,151 acres, with a population of 131,727 persons. The stations number 78, valued at £20,149, and the plant is vulued at .£29,571. Five brigades are held upon trust, and are in the hands of trustees, two to , the Government, four to the brigades • themselves, and the remainder to the ' different Borough Councils. The annual cost of the brigades is J27244. Tbe alarms are given by 9-i bells, 2 whistles, 43 electric alarms, and 8 telephones, while IS horses are kept. Twenty-four reservoirs form tho source of the water supplies, while tho rest of the brigades are supplied from wells, rivers, open channels, tanks and ditches. The total number of fires for the year was 332. Of these 1 was caused by chemicals, 1 fireworks, 5 gas. explosions, 34 accidental, 0 hot ashes, 15 naked lights, blinds, and curtains, 3 clothes drying, 1 rats, 1 smoking, 1 bush fire, 2 gluo nnd oil boiling over, 8 lamps exploding, &c, 3 rubbish burning, 3 arson, 9 children playing with matchep, 4 over-heating, 11 defective chimneys, 220 unknown and chimuey fires.
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