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Pukaki Downs Fire Update #11

Cloudy, cooler and settled weather conditions are allowing crews on the fire ground to make further progress extinguishing hotspots.

The size of the fire remains unchanged at 2900ha with a perimeter of about 38km.

Several hotspots were identified from Tuesday evenings infrared fly-over, and groundcrews are continuing to work on these today, assisted by heavy machinery and monsoon buckets.

The fire investigation is all but completed. It has established that the fire started in a forestry block and the cause is considered accidental. Incident Controller Stephen Butler said that there was no connection between the fire and the scientific research burns that were being carried out in the area in the autumn. That programme finished several months ago.

Firefighters on the ground today are from Lake Clearwater, Alford Forest, Upper Rakaia, Ashburton, The Pines/Waikuku and Twizel, assisted by crews from the Department of Conservation.

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