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Cecil Peak Fire Under Control

Cecil Peak Fire Under Control

Two rural fire crews, supported by two helicopters, are dampening down hot spots after a fire on the lower slopes of Cecil Peak, on Lake Wakatipu, last night. The crews are from the Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Department of Conservation.

An aerial inspection at first light assessed the fire as being “well under control", QLDC General Manager Operations, Ruth Stokes, said.

Before dark last night a helicopter was used to inspect the fire and the surrounding area to check that no-one was in the vicinity. No fire crews were sent to the site last night because the risk to life from fighting fires in the dark outweighed the need to bring the fire under control, given its remote location and the terrain.

Incident Controller Mark Mawhinney, of DOC, said the prevailing calm and humid conditions last night and forecast for this morning had minimised risk that the fire would have spread overnight.

Investigations into the cause of the fire will begin today. There is no suggestion that the landowner had been responsible for the fire, and everything else was speculation at this point, Mrs Stokes said.

Once the cause of the fire is established, if those responsible can be identified, they will be liable for the costs of fighting the fire.

A total prohibited fire season is in force across the Queenstown Lakes District.


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