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Rat Point fire investigators asking for public assistance

Rat Point fire investigators asking for public assistance

The Otago Regional Fire Authority (ORFA), aided by the Police, have begun the investigation into the cause of yesterday’s blaze at Rat Point that cut power and road access to Glenorchy.

After an initial investigation on scene this morning fire staff are confident that it was started by a camp fire on the beach below Rat Point.

If the public has any information that may help the investigations, they are asked to call ORFA on 0800 673 473 or contact the police. Of particular interest to investigators is information or sightings of a white van that was seen at Rat Point on the afternoon of Tuesday 10 January.

Those responsible may have already left the scene on Tuesday evening thinking that their campfire was out, before wind blew hot embers into the surrounding dry vegetation and started the scrub fire.

Deputy Rural Fire Officer, Jamie Cowan is leading the investigation and says this is a good time for people to remember the importance of fire safety and the rules around open fires.

“Otago is currently in a restricted fire season, which means any outdoor fire in the region needs a permit from ORFA. This is incredibly important from a safety perspective, if anyone had been camped in the Rat Point area when the fire spread the consequences could have been much worse. Fires like this move at tremendous speed once they catch and are incredibly dangerous.”

“If anyone has any information that could help us out we ask that they please get in touch while it is still fresh in their minds.”

People can find out the fire danger in their area by visiting the websitehttp://www.checkitsalright.nz/


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