Crews gain control of Great Barrier fire

Fire crews are cautiously optimistic they have finally gained the upper hand over a huge blaze that has been burning on Great Barrier Island through the week.

However, a south-easterly wind could fan flames again, Principal Rural Fire Officer Bryan Cartelle said.

The Navy had been drafted in to help the large contingent battling fires on the Hauraki Gulf island as the threat of poor weekend weather kept dozens of firefighters on high alert.

The fire has been burning since Monday and has destroyed more than 100ha of bush.

But Mr Cartelle said they were in a "good position".

Charred scrub was still smoking "and where there's smoke there's fire", so fire crews were remaining vigilant, he said.

"We're strengthening some containment lines.

"The south east breeze does pump through here and we've got some additional strategies in case it does start to break out - we've got some retardant and we've still got two helicopters on the island."

Yesterday, the HMNZS Otago has been "rapidly redeployed" from a training exercise at sea to help with the efforts on the island.

It delivered five tonnes of equipment and supplies at the request of the Department of Conservation.


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