Fire near Waiouru under control

TIM DONOGHUE
Last updated 09:40 25/01/2013

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The large fire started after a live firing exercise by Singaporean forces on remote Defence Force land northeast of Waiouru has been put out.

Major Pat Hibbs, commander of the Waiouru Military Training Facility, said the fire had been put out last night.

The fire was started by members of the Singapore Armed Forces who are participating in the annual exercise Thunder Warrior.

There are 470 Singaporeans in New Zealand participating in the annual exercise alongside a New Zealand Defence Force transport section. 

Major Hibbs said the fire started about 20kms east of the Waiouru Military Camp on State Highway One.

As part of the exercise the Singaporeans were firing live rounds from 155 artillery pieces. 

"The fire started three days ago out the back of the training area. It is out now," Major Hibbs said. 

Five commercial helicopters with monsoon buckets were used to control the fire in the rugged Three Kings area east of the Desert Road, while a New Zealand Defence Force chopper was used to move troops around.

Costs associated with fighting the fire will be co-shared between the New Zealand Defence Force and the Singaporean army.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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