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Chatham Islands fire deployment ends

Chatham Islands fire deployment ends

Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s 30-day deployment to the Chatham Islands ended today with the final crew heading home.

Over 100 crew from Pumiceland, Taranaki, Wanganui and the Wellington region, as well as two helicopters, worked on the wild fire over the last month; which at its peak saw 30 people working 11 hour days.

The crew worked alongside eight local Fire and Emergency volunteers, four Department of Conservation staff and three local contractors.

The 2500-hectare fire, which started on 1 February and at one stage forced the evacuation of 19 houses, was contained on 6 February with Fire and Emergency crew staying on to monitor hotspots.

Fire and Emergency and Department of Conservation staff will continue to monitor the site of the fire over the upcoming months.

"Throughout our deployment, the community was right behind the work to contain the fire," says Principal Rural Fire Officer, Craig Cottrill.

"I’d like to thank our volunteers, the Department of Conservation, the Chatman Islands Council, Air Chathams and local community for their support and ensuring our firefighters were well looked after."

The fire was contained to private land, with no conservation land damaged. Two back country huts were destroyed during the blaze.


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