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Great Barrier Island Fire Update

Media advisory No 1
0825am, 23 January 2013

Great Barrier Island Fire Update

Three helicopters are currently working on the fire which is approximately one kilometre in extent. The southern side of the fire, closest to Claris airfield, is still active.

Rural fire staff are doing reconnaissance this morning to establish the extent of the affected area.

No property damage has occurred and no-one has been injured. The protection of life and property are key priorities and a welfare centre has been established at a local club for those who were evacuated overnight.

Police have been in to assist with the evacuation, road closures and to ensure public safety. As a precaution 20 properties in the Okupu Ridge area were evacuated overnight to the Okupu Sports Centre, although the fire has not yet entered the Okupu area.

Modest northeasterly winds overnight have continued to spread fire in a south and southeasterly direction. Hector-Sanderson Road was breached by the fire overnight and subsequently closed.

Okiwi airfield is still operational but operations at Claris airport have been affected. Northeasterly winds, between 35 and 40km/hr, are forecast for the remainder of the day but are expected ease this evening and overnight. Firefighters have worked through the night with fresh crews started at 0630 hours. Due to safety concerns, helicopter crews were stood down overnight.

The cause has not been established and is currently being investigated.

ENDS

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