More NZ firefighters Australia bound

Another 22 New Zealand firefighters will leave for Australia today to help battle bush fires in remote areas of Victoria.

The team will join 44, the country's second-largest deployment of rural firefighters, who left last week to relieve Australian firefighters working in the Gippsland area.

Victoria is experiencing a difficult fire season with two major fires burning and a number of smaller fires in the west of the State, said National Rural Fire Authority operations manager Gary Lockyer.

"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," he said.

Each team will spend at least two weeks away.

New Zealand had the capacity to send more firefighters without it impacting on the resources available to deal with any rural fires in this country, Mr Lockyer said.

In January, 13 firefighters were sent to help fight bush fires in remote areas of Tasmania.

"These deployments are a reflection of the strong relationship New Zealand fire authorities have built with their Australian counterparts over the years to share training, knowledge, and research and provide assistance to each other when needed."

 

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