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NZ fire burning 2500 hectares of forest

A fire near Lake Pukaki, on New Zealand’s South Island was reported to Fire and Emergency New Zealand at approximately 11.25am on Sunday morning. The fire is burning over an area of 2500 hectares of forestry. Strong nor-west winds have hampered attempts to control the fire and are forecast to continue overnight. Sources: Timberbiz, Scoop

The briefing will be held at midday today NZ time (31 August) at the Twizel Event Centre.

Yesterday around 2500 hectares of forestry and scrub on both sides of State Highway 80 were burnt through, with a perimeter of approximately 23 kilometres. The fire has spread to the west overnight and a flyover was completed of the fire scene to assess the situation.

Strong nor-wester winds continue to hamper attempts to contain the fire and wind speeds are forecast to increase over the course of this morning.

One property at Pukaki Downs was lost yesterday to the fire. Crews working overnight have been able to protect other properties and structures from damage.

State Highway 8 remains closed due to significant amounts of smoke. The fire is expected to remain on the western side of SH8 and there is no current or expected threat to the Twizel township or Mount Cook Village.

Rotary and fixed wing firefighting resources have been deployed and a no flying notice (NOTAM) has been issued to limit activity at Twizel Airport to firefighting operations only. Currently there are 17 helicopters, two fixed wing aircraft, five heavy diggers and two forestry crews supporting 140 people on the ground.

An incident Management Team comprising approximately 25 personnel was established in Twizel yesterday, led by Fire and Emergency New Zealand and supported by personnel from Mackenzie District Council and the Department of Conservation.