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NZ Firefighters To Assist State Of Victoria

National Rural Fire Authority New Zealand Firefighters To Assist State Of Victoria

December 7, 2006

The Department of Sustainability and Environment in Victoria, Australia yesterday made a formal request for support from New Zealand to assist management of a number of large wildfires not yet contained in the north-eastern Alpine and Gippsland areas of the state says New Zealand’s National Rural Fire Officer, Murray Dudfield.

A team of 45 firefighters/crew leaders from the following organisations across New Zealand will meet and leave from Christchurch just after midday today for Melbourne to assist in fire fighting operations in Victoria:

- Southern Rural Fire Authority (Invercargill) – one crew of five
- Dunedin City Council – one crew of five
- Waimea Rural Fire Authority (Nelson) – two crews of five
- Gisborne District Council (Gisborne) - one crew of five
- Whangarei District Council - two crews of five
- Department of Conservation (Christchurch/Rotorua/Palmerston North/Nelson) - two crews of five
- Wellington City Council – one Aircraft Manager

In addition two liaison officers from the National Rural Fire Authority are already in Melbourne.

The New Zealand firefighters have been chosen for their remote high country and forestry firefighting experience. They will be required to walk into the remote wildfires in forested lands ignited by lightning strikes. These wildfires occurred last week and some still remain uncontrolled says Mr Dudfield.

The deployment is from December 7 to December 23, 2006. The New Zealand Defence Force is providing air transportation to Melbourne.

ENDS

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