More Kiwis off to battle Aussie bush fires

Kiwi firefighters will travel to Australia today to help fight bush fires that continue to rage in the state of Victoria.

A total of 22 firefighters from stations in Auckland, Rotorua-Whakatane, the West Coast and Invercargill will head across the Tasman this afternoon.

They are the second contingent from New Zealand assigned to help; following a 23-strong team who flew out just over a week ago.

National Rural Fire Officer Kevin O'Connor said the crews on the ground had already made a big impact -- helping to contain fires, which continue to burn on a 40km front around Victoria's southwest coast.

Mr O'Connor said fire danger remained "very high" and both deployments were scheduled to last up to three weeks. There was a possibility that could be extended, depending on conditions.

The fires were sparked last month after lightning strikes in the area.

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