Tasmania calls for help from NZ rural fire crews


Tasmanian fire authorities have called for rural fire fighting support from New Zealand with two crews expected to leave for the fire-ravaged Australian state tomorrow.

National rural fire officer Murray Dudfield said he received a call for assistance late last night.

"The Tasmanian fire agencies together with the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Tasmanian Forestry Commission have requested that we provide two remote fire fighter crews which we will be agreeing too,’’ Mr Dudfield said.

A forestry crew out of Nelson and a Northland-based Department of Conservation crew are expected to answer the call for help.

The call for support, based on a trans-Tasman agreement, could see more crews heading to Australia as the fire-risk intensifies in New South Wales.

"We will certainly be monitoring this situation over the next couple of days, but certainly if the need is there, we would respond with futher support,’’ Mr Dudfield said.

Two crews of six plus a liaison officer are expected to leave for Tasmania tomorrow and will take personal safety equipment - including helmets, protective clothing and boots.

Waikato Times