You can't fight a fire on an empty stomach.
So when a volunteer group heard about last week's huge blaze on the Karikari Peninsula — the biggest fire so far this summer — they sprang into action to make sure the firefighters stayed fuelled up and able to take on the flames.
About eight members of the Kaitaia-based Rapid Relief Team, aided by members of the Kerikeri branch, set up a marquee and mobile kitchen at fire headquarters on Inland Rd, where they handed out water and burgers to hungry firefighters and helicopter crews.
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Ben Stewart, of Kerikeri, said the team fed about 50 people per day, with each downing three or four burgers per meal.
''It's awesome to see the firefighters come in after doing such a hard job and the smiles on their faces when they get the burgers.''
Jayden Foster, of Kaitaia, said about 40 Rapid Relief Teams were spread across New Zealand. Founded four years ago, the teams assisted in humanitarian crises, emergencies and events where large numbers of volunteer needed to be fed.
The teams had been set up by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, also known as the Exclusive Brethren, and were entirely self-funded by private donations.