The person responsible for a fire that burned more than 100ha
of forest and tussock land in the Mt Aspiring National Park
last year should foot the firefighting bill, a report
At an Otago Conservation Board meeting in Alexandra this
week, a report was tabled which included details of
Department of Conservation office activities throughout
It said the fire investigation report for the December 2013
East Matukituki Valley fire was completed and ''recommends
that full fire suppression cost recovery be sought from the
At the time of the fire, Wanaka-based conservation services
manager Chris Sydney told the Otago Daily Times he did not
want to pre-empt the department's formal investigation but it
seemed ''fairly apparent'' the fire had been started by ''a
guy who had a small campsite up there''.
The man was a New Zealander who spent some of his time in the
Queenstown Lakes district, he said.
The fire on steep, remote terrain at an altitude of about
800m-900m was the first in the park for at least eight or
Yesterday, Wanaka Doc office spokeswoman Annette Grieve said
following on from the recommendations in the report the
department would now ''explore options'' for the recovery of
fire suppression costs and because the matter was sensitive
in regards to the individual concerned, there would be no
further comment at this time.
She was unable to provide the costs involved in fighting the
fire, which involved ground crews and three helicopters.