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More NZ firefighters heading to Victoria

More NZ firefighters heading to Victoria

Victoria’s Fire Commission has asked for further support from New Zealand as the state tackles widespread bush fires.

Two further teams of New Zealand rural firefighters will deploy this week, with the first leaving on Monday afternoon.

The initial teams that were sent to help just over a fortnight ago have spent most of their time building containment lines and back-burning in the Orbost area of East Gippsland. Most of the 44 firefighters will return this week but nine have volunteered to stay on for another rotation.

National Rural Fire Officer Murray Dudfield said “Our firefighters have been working extremely hard in particularly demanding conditions and are feeling very satisfied that they have been able to help. While most of their work has been in forested areas, some were diverted to help protect Orbost when fire encroached on the outskirts of the township.”

On that same day, the firefighter’s base camp at Newmerella was also in the direct line of a fire but a change of conditions spared it any damage.

The second deployment is made up of two teams, with 18 people leaving on Monday (17 February) and 13 on Friday (21 February). Once again they are made up of Department of Conservation staff and forestry workers from around the country.

ends

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