Helicopters helping battle Nelson forest fire

Helicopters helping battle Nelson forest fire

04 December 2004
published by http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm 

Up to seven helicopters and 70 firefighters and volunteers this morning continued to battle a blaze that has burned over 60 hectares of forest southwest of Nelson.

The fire began in a small section of Carter Holt Harvey forest between the Wairoa and Lee Valleys at about 10.30am yesterday.

Richmond Fire Service chief Ralph Lonsdale said this morning southerly winds had died down since yesterday and the blaze had been contained to several pockets of fire.

Firefighters yesterday struggled to get the fire under control with 70km/h winds and difficult access hampering their efforts.

Mr Lonsdale said there had been talk of houses being evacuated but he wasn’t aware of any actual evacuations this morning.

The road into the Wairoa valley was closed to prevent “rubberneckers” from entering.

The cost of fighting the fire is expected to run into the tens of thousands of dollars and has involved several volunteer units, along with help from forest companies and contractors.

Investigators were still trying to establish whether or not the fire was lit deliberately.



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