Nelson crews fighting fires in Australia

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Five Nelson rural fire fighters have joined a massive contingent of fire teams battling wild fires in Tasmania this week.

The Waimea Rural Fire Authority this week provided a crew made up of two members of the Brightwater Voluntary Rural Fire Force, one member of the Tasman Voluntary Rural Fire Force and two  members from the Nelmac rural fire crew.: Lee Beloe, Nathan Palmer, Brendan Jones, Ashton Oliver and Sam Speight have been deployed to the Strathgordon fires in the mid-west of Tasmania.

Waimea principal rural fire officer Ian Reade says the largest of the fires they are working on covers 4700 hectares with a number of smaller fires in the surrounding area.

“A lightning storm that went through on January 13  started the majority of the fires. In total there are 73 fires currently burning in Tasmania,” Ian says.

The crews are staying in camps and being flown into the fire fighting zones by helicopter. They are working 12 to 14 hours a day for seven days then have two days rest before another seven days in the field – they will be away for about 20 days, Ian says.