Not many spend their first overseas trip fighting raging bush fires on arduous and unfamiliar terrain.

But Whanganui rural firefighter Aaron Hartley says he "can't wait, to be honest".

Hartley is one of 21 rural firefighters from New Zealand heading to Tasmania to help fight the series of fires which have been burning since late December.

"We found out on Saturday so we don't have a lot of time to prepare," he said.

Advertisement

"Firstly, it's my first time overseas ever, so I'm looking forward to that. It was excitement, then stress, but yeah, it's played out good as.

"I just want to get out there and do our part eh?"

The Whanganui Voluntary Rural Fire Force member will be joined by 20 other rural firefighters from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Department of Conservation and forestry companies.

"I love firefighting and rural firefighting and it's a big step up from fighting fires in New Zealand," he said.

"The conditions in Tasmania are quite severe. They've got multiple fires and in remote areas. It's in a lot of native bushland and scrub and forest lands."

Hartley is also a volunteer reserve solider with the New Zealand Defence Force and is training to be an arborist.

"My boss is a rural firefighter as well and he wants me to go on the deployment so he's given me the time off," he said.

Firefighters, medics and police plan fire control strategies in Miena, Tasmania on Monday. Photo/ Getty Images
Firefighters, medics and police plan fire control strategies in Miena, Tasmania on Monday. Photo/ Getty Images

Hartley hopes he will get "a vast range of experience" while in Australia.

"We stay in what they call fire camps, so they are camps set up specifically for firefighters and emergency management teams and stuff like that.

"Something different, something to bring back and just upskill."

It is the 23rd time New Zealand fire personnel have been deployed overseas since 2000.

The Tasmanian fires

- The fires are burning across 20,000 hectares of steep, remote mountainous terrain, known as Gell River.

- The Gell River region experienced more than 4000 ground impacting lightning strikes on 14-15 January that ignited over 70 fires, 50 of which are ongoing.

- After a windy weekend, the region expects extreme temperatures mid-week (22-24 January).