Navy to help fight island fire

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 16:58 24/01/2013
BLAZE ON BARRIER: A massive scrub fire burns in the Kaitoke beach area of Great Barrier Island.
PETRA BAGUST (@petrabagust)/Twitter

BLAZE ON BARRIER: A massive scrub fire has been burning for more than two days in the Kaitoke beach area of Great Barrier Island.

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The Navy is joining ongoing fire fighting efforts at Great Barrier Island following requests for help from the Department of Conservation.

Flames and smoke can be seen on the island as around 45 firefighters work to contain the blaze which has been burning for more than two days now.

Progress had been made in putting the fire out but high temperatures today caused a flare up.

Offshore Navy Patrol Vessel HMNZS OTAGO will tonight transfer almost five tonnes of firefighting equipment and relief supplies from the Devonport Naval Base to Great Barrier Island.

Fire retardant chemicals and other associated equipment as well as food and water will arrive in the Whangaparapara Harbour Friday morning. 

The vessel, which had been at sea conducting training for her Ships Company, was rapidly redeployed after the DOC request.

An Auckland Council spokesman said no properties were under threat.

Firefighters had contained the Great Barrier Island scrub fire last night and are now making fire-breaks to stop it spreading further.

The fire has burned more than 115 hectares near the settlement of Claris.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Bryan Cartelle yesterday said good progress had been made and containment of the fire's three fronts had "progressed well".

"Diggers are now excavating firebreaks. The three helicopters and 40 crew will continue their work until dusk," he said

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- Auckland Now

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