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Firefighting Effort Continues on Great Barrier Island

11.50am, 23 January 2013

Firefighting Effort Continues on Great Barrier Island

Three helicopters and 40 volunteer rural firefighters continue to work on the fire front, which is approximately one kilometre in length, covering 112 hectares.

Auckland Council’s Rural Fire team is leading the response with assistance from the Department of Conservation, Fire Service and Police.

Containment is concentrated at the southern side of the fire closest to Claris airfield. No property damage has occurred and 20 properties in the Okupu Ridge area remain evacuated.

No further welfare assistance has been requested today. All roads are now open.

Modest northeasterly winds overnight have continued to spread the fire in a south and southeasterly direction.

Operations at Claris airport have been affected but Okiwi airfield is still operational; extra support staff are being deployed there.

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 but have returned to full operation.

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


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