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Update On Waiouru Fire

New Zealand Defence Force
 Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

28 November 2007

Update On Waiouru Fire

A fire which has burnt around 800 hectares of the Waiouru Military Training Area at Waiouru is now contained.

Four civilian helicopters, two rural fire appliances and around 30 Army personnel are now working to bring the fire fully under control and to “mop-up” hotspots, an operation which is expected to take another 24 hours.

The fire started yesterday afternoon during a training exercise, and has burnt through tussock, grass and flax.  No buildings were at risk from the fire, which moved away from the Waiouru Camp and housing area.

Efforts to contain the fire were assisted overnight by a wind-change, a drop in temperature and the fact two roads through the training area acted as fire breaks and stopped the fire spreading.

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Reynolds, Commanding Officer of the Waiouru Support Centre, said fires in the training area were not uncommon but this one was a large fire.

“It is very dry here at the moment and we are working to minimise and mitigate the risk of fire.  Restrictions have been placed on the activities that can be carried out in the training area and we have the option to suspend all training should conditions worsen,” Lieutenant Colonel Reynolds said.

As part of those restrictions live firing activities have been stopped.

There are a number of remote weather stations across the Waiouru training area, an area in excess of 63,000 hectares, which send automatic updates on conditions and fire risk to authorities in the camp.


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