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Portable fire dams being flown to Chathams

3 December 2007


Portable fire dams being flown to Chathams

Three portable fire dams from the Department of Conservation’s Canterbury Conservancy are being flown today to the Chatham Islands, where firefighters continue to extinguish hot spots at the site of a fire in a protected peat swamp.

More fuel for a helicopter involved in the operation is also on board the charter flight which is leaving from Christchurch at around lunchtime today, DOC Chathams Area manager Ken Hunt said today.

The fire has been contained to 274 hectares of the 423ha Wharekauri (Greenswamp) Conservation Area in the northern Chathams.

Ground crews are patrolling the perimeter and hot spots are being extinguished by ground crews and a helicopter. A number of hot spots were still smoking this morning. All known hot spots have been plotted with a global positioning system (GPS) and flagged.

A portable dam from which water can be pumped is being established at the site. A tractor is establishing tracks to relocate equipment.

Mr Hunt said more than 50 fire fighters and support volunteers have been involved in the operation.

“All DOC staff in the Chathams are either on site or available if required.”

Resource requirements will be reviewed at a meeting tonight.

ENDS

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