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Mayor Praises Fire Response

Mayor Praises Fire Response

The swift and effective response to Wednesday’s fire on the Glenorchy Road has been praised by Mayor Jim Boult.

The blaze, started by a campfire at Rat Point on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, cut both power and road access to Glenorchy and burned 150 hectares of scrub and native beech forest before being brought under control. Strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity made the fire difficult to combat and crews are still dampening down hotspots.

Mayor Boult thanked all those from across the district and around Otago who had dropped everything to answer the call.

“I was very impressed by the operation coordinated by the Otago Rural Fire Authority. It involved well over 100 people on the ground, in the air and in the incident command centre, and most of them are volunteers. I would like to thank them on behalf of the community, and also thank all the employers who support having their staff take time out from work to respond to an emergency.”

Mr Boult also acknowledged the work done by the emergency services, with Police, NZ Fire Service and St John all called out in the small hours on Wednesday.

“We had a very lucky escape this time, with no injury or loss of life, or homes and buildings damaged. The fire could easily have had tragic consequences and I urge anyone who has any information about what happened at Rat Point to contact ORFA or the Police. And please remember that our fire risk is very high just now, so don’t light fires in the open. One spark is all it takes and next time the outcome could be very different.”


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