Helicopters will join efforts to control a large bushfire
this morning that has already burned more than 400ha of a
significant conservation land near Invercargill.
Fire Service southern communications centre shift manager
Karl Patterson said it was expected to take several days to
control the blaze of manuka bush and wetlands in the Awarua
"We are using three helicopters, they were based in
Invercargill overnight in preparation for a hit on the fire,"
Mr Patterson said.
"There is nothing to suggest it has flared up greatly but
from our knowledge the fire is still going."
Rural firefighters and the Department of Conservation will
aid the helicopters in fighting the blaze today.
"It's going to be long term - it's not a short job,
unfortunately," Mr Patterson said.
The Awarua Wetlands are one of the country's largest and are
recognised as an important area for their biological
diversity and cultural values.
It is frequented by foreign migrating and wading bird species
and contains threatened plants and insects, including
sub-alpine species, according to the Department of
The fire has not threatened any properties.