New Zealanders injured in Australian bushfire

New Zealanders injured in Australianbushfire

17 December 2006

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Australia — An extensive investigation is starting into how nine New Zealandfirefighters were injured during a bushfire in south eastern Australia.

Four suffered serious burns, and are in hospital, five are being treated forminor burns.

They were in the Howqua Valley, near Mansfield in the south-eastern state ofVictoria when the fire intensified and forced them to seek cover in a ditch.

Ewan Waller from the Department of Sustainability announced the investigation.

“We’ll go through the fire conditions why they deployed there what workthey were doing what the fire conditions were like what the weather conditionswere like their deployment instructions it’ll be a full intensive investigationas we do with any of these types of cases we treat them very very seriously.”

The New Zealanders volunteered to fight the fires which have been burning forweeks, causing the death of one man, consuming large tracts of forest anddestroying several houses.

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