Firefighter injured battling blaze near Wanaka

Fanned by variable and changeable winds, the fire lit up the night sky across a front of about...
Fanned by variable and changeable winds, the fire lit up the night sky across a front of about 1km on a hill next to the Mt Aspiring Road, about 10km from Wanaka. Photos: Mark Price
Fanned by variable and changeable winds, the fire lit up the night sky across a front of about...
Fanned by variable and changeable winds, the fire lit up the night sky across a front of about 1km on a hill next to the Mt Aspiring Road, about 10km from Wanaka. Photos: Mark Price
Fanned by variable and changeable winds, the fire lit up the night sky across a front of about...
Fanned by variable and changeable winds, the fire lit up the night sky across a front of about 1km on a hill next to the Mt Aspiring Road, about 10km from Wanaka. Photos: Mark Price
Fanned by variable and changeable winds, the fire lit up the night sky across a front of about...
Fanned by variable and changeable winds, the fire lit up the night sky across a front of about 1km on a hill next to the Mt Aspiring Road, about 10km from Wanaka. Photos: Mark Price

A firefighter has been injured fighting a scrub fire west of Wanaka as a result of being hit in the face with a log.

Fanned by variable and changeable winds, the fire burnt through 100ha of of tussock, Matagouri shrub and grass and lit up the night sky last night across a front of about 1km on a hill next to the Mt Aspiring Road, about 10km from Wanaka.

The fire on is on Glendhu Station and started about 9.30pm near the road and close to the turn off to the Diamond Lake walking track. This morning helicopters and ground crews have been on scene dampening down hot spots.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman Piho Isaia said the injured firefighter was moving a log this morning that was ''impacted by the fire".

''This log was still under tension and flicked back and made contact with the firefighter's head and face.

''The firefighter received lacerations and bruising to the face and head and had been transported to Wanaka Medical Centre for further observations.

''The firefighter is in good spirits and has been cleared of any serious injuries.

''The nature of vegetation fire fighting can be extremely dangerous as you battle with the elements as well as the fire itself.

''The unknown structural integrity of trees impacted by fire - roots, high branches and trunks - makes life difficult, however our people are well trained and safety is always at front of mind.'' 

The fire is on rocky terrain: Photo: Fire and Emergency New Zealand via RNZ
The fire is on rocky terrain: Photo: Fire and Emergency New Zealand via RNZ
Two helicopters were brought in to assist this morning, and the fire is understood to now be out.

It burnt through about 100ha of tussock, matagouri and grass.

At one point, it jumped Mt Aspiring Rd, but was contained by fire crews attending from across the Upper Clutha.

The fire is not being treated as suspicious at this stage.

A map showing the location of the blaze. Photo: Fire and Emergency New Zealand
A map showing the location of the blaze. Photo: Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Incident Controller Mark Mawhinney said there had been no loss of structures or livestock, and he praised the work of crews late last night who stopped the fire from establishing itself on the opposite site of Mt Aspiring Rd.

''The continued commitment of our volunteers should always be recognised in protecting their communities and our environment''.

 

 

 

 

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