More fire crew to Tasmania

By Imran Ali

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Northland is sending a further seven firefighters to Tasmania this weekend after raging wildfires burning for nearly three weeks are getting out of control in some areas.

The Whangarei crew, all employees of Forest Protection Services, are among 43 Kiwi firefighters and liaison staff who leave the country on Sunday for an initial three-week deployment.

They will take over from two New Zealand crews that left on January 29 and were due to return on Tuesday.

However, five of the six Whangarei firefighters that left on January 29 have extended their stay in Tasmania while one will return.

The Whangarei crew flying out of Whangarei airport tomorrow includes team leader Trevor Bullock, Patrick Roithmayr, Andrew Nepia, Nicky Robinson, Dylan McGuinty, Kieren Sullivan, and Murray Johnstone.

The initial request from Tasmanian fire authorities to the New Zealand Rural Fire Authority was for 40 firefighters and two crew leaders.

Forest Protection Services' owner Kevin Ihaka said the Northland crew that left on January 29 were the only New Zealand firefighters to extend their stay.

- Northern Advocate

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