Northland fire-fighters battle fire - and snow!
Twelve Northland Department of Conservation fire-fighters who flew from Keri Keri last Tuesday to relieve tired Canterbury fire-fighters are experiencing the true spirit of the southern lands.
As the Northland team of 11 men and one woman were driven into the Southern Alps, they gazed in awe at the tinder-dry but beautiful landscape.
But since their arrival on the fire scene at Cora Lynn near Arthur's Pass the area has received the first significant rain for several months. This was good news for the fire, but the Northland team, used to more 'tropical' weather, has found the rain, wind and cold difficult conditions for working in.
Conditions on Thursday were even more extreme, with snow down to the bushline and temperatures of -2o. The harsh mountain environment has thrown extra challenges at the crews, now dampening down the last remaining hot spots.
The Northland crew have contributed to all aspects of the fire, from operations to fire-fighting. Some are expected to return home Saturday, while others will stay on until early next week.