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Glenorchy Road Rat Point Fire - update #11

Glenorchy Road Rat Point Fire - update #11 fire contained, power restored
09:30, Thursday 12 January 2017

The fire at Rat Point has been largely contained and power has been restored to Glenorchy.

Crews from Delta worked overnight and restored the power connection around midnight, earlier than anticipated.

10 ground staff monitored the fire overnight and helicopters were on standby to respond if needed.

There have been no flare ups since 9pm and 11ml of rain fell overnight which has helped the situation a great deal.

Two ground crews will continue to patrol the area today to fully extinguish the fire and ensure that hotspots are monitored and dampened down. A helicopter will also be on site to ferry ground crews and help with observations.

The Glenorchy Road remains open, drivers are asked to take care when driving through the area as it is still an active operational zone and they may encounter fire appliances and ground crews working along the side of the road. There may be further road closures as monitoring work progresses throughout the day.

An investigation into the cause of the blaze will begin today with fire investigation officers presently on scene.

Weather conditions are set to remain changeable today with sustained winds of 25km/hr and gusts of up to 65km/hr forecast.

Fire crews will be rotated as the operation is expected to last for three to five days.

Otago Rural Fire Authority Incident Controller Phil Marsh said that while the fire was controlled at present there was still a lot of work for fire crews to do before it would be considered out.

“While it may look like the fire is out, our crews still have a lot of work to do to ensure it doesn’t flare back up and they will be working hard over the next few days to make sure it’s safe.”

“The crews involved yesterday did an outstanding job and it’s a credit to their skill and professionalism that we’ve had over 50 people working alongside eight helicopters in a very demanding environment with no incidents or injuries.”

“Delta have put in a fantastic effort overnight getting power back to the residents of Glenorchy, and our ground crews are confident the road will remain open, barring minor delays.”

“I want to extend a huge thanks to the local community for their support over the course of this operation. We’ve had offers of food and support from a number of businesses and it has been greatly received by everyone working to get the fire under control.

“Emergency services in this region are predominantly staffed with volunteers so we thank both those people and their organisations for being so supportive.”

The next update will be issued at approximately midday unless the situation changes. For more information and updates please visit www.qldc.govt.nz or the Queenstown Lakes District Council Facebook page.

ENDS

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