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Rural fire volunteers return from Victoria

26 February 2014

Rural fire volunteers return from Victoria

A group of Auckland’s rural volunteer firefighters has returned from 18 days in Australia where they helped battle the Victorian bushfires.

Sent at the request of the National Rural Fire Authority, the team consisted of four volunteers lead by Auckland’s Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer, Rory Renwick. The team of five joined other New Zealanders to make up the 22-strong task force.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Bryan Cartelle is pleased Auckland’s rural fire network was able to help out. “I’m really proud of our crew; they got stuck in and provided help to our Australian counterparts in trying conditions of ground heat reaching the high 30s to early 40s. It’s tough, arduous work fighting fires in conditions that dry and hot.”

The crew mainly assisted with dry fire fighting, which includes ground raking and creating mineral earth breaks to ensure fires don’t spread.

“While helping fight the Victoria fires, our rural fire crew gained a lot of experience which we can put to good use back here in Auckland,” said Bryan Cartelle.

A second group of volunteer Rural Fire Response team fire fighters from Great Barrier Island led by Auckland’s Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer Lance Dixon left Auckland last week to further assist with the Victorian state fires which continue to burn.

The volunteers that made up the first task force were from the following Volunteer rural fire forces:
Billy Torpey (Awhitu)
Stephen Bishop (Waitakere)
Denis Cooper (Waitakere)
Mike Donovan (Puhoi)

ENDS

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