New Zealand is likely to send specialist firefighting
personnel soon to help battle the New South Wales bushfires,
Prime Minister John Key says.
Mr Key said he had spoken with State Premier Barry O'Farrell
this afternoon to get an update on what is now the
state's worst fire crisis in 45 years, "and to reiterate that
New Zealand remains ready to assist if requested''.
"Mr O'Farrell thanked me for the call and said the situation
was serious with forecasts for high temperatures, low
humidity and high winds over the next few days. It would be a
Mr O'Farrell was aware of New Zealand firefighters'
capabilities after they assisted with bush fires in January
this year "and would not hesitate to call for help if it was
"I got the impression it was likely that we would send people
at some stage.''
New Zealand's National Rural Fire Authority head Murray
Dudfield has already said he has teams on standby is help was
"If they were looking for some specialised all timber, remote
rural firefighters we can certainly provide that,'' Mr
Dudfield said yesterday.
The service sent specialist alpine and timber forest
firefighters to Tasmania and Victoria when those states
battled widespread bushfires last summer.