Two Department of Conservation officers from Hawke's Bay are among 22 forest fire fighters being sent to fight bushfires in Australia today.
They will join the 44 firefighters who left last week to relieve Australian firefighters working in the Gippsland area.
Two major fires and a number of smaller blazes were burning in western Victoria, National Rural Fire Authority operations manager Gary Lockyer said.
''This is hot, dirty work,'' he said.
Three of the newly deployed fire fighters were from the Auckland region, and the rest from Canterbury.
"Like our deployment last week, today's team is drawn from the forestry sector and from the Department of Conservation. They are all well-qualified and keen to help their Australian colleagues."
Each team will spend at least two weeks away.
New Zealand could send more firefighters if they are requested, without impacting on the ability to fight rural blazes.
- © Fairfax NZ News