Quick action helped firefighters battling a blaze within
forest at the Waiora Scout Camp, near Mosgiel, yesterday.
A scout master and four scouts had set up a bivouac and were
camped on a ridge within the camp's forest. They used a
cellphone to call emergency services when vegetation caught
fire just before 3pm.
Dunedin City Council principal rural fire officer Graeme
Still said the scouts' quick response meant two helicopters
with monsoon buckets were on the scene within minutes.
''They didn't muck around and it was because of their prompt
call that we managed to get on to it really quickly.
"Another 10 or 15 minutes and it would have been a different
story, but everything was in our favour,'' he said.
Less than 0.4ha of forest was burned.
Mosgiel and Roslyn fire crews attended, as well as Mr Still's
rural crew with a tanker.
''My first priority was to send some guys in there to make
sure the scouts were OK. I think they [scouts] learnt a big
lesson, but they did very well, to be fair,'' he said.