Five highly experienced New Zealand Defence Force firefighters have been deployed to battle remote bush fires in northwest Tasmania.

Over the next three weeks, four New Zealand Army and one Royal New Zealand Air Force firefighters will boost the number of Kiwis helping in the bush fires to 43.

Dry lightning strikes from a number of storms since mid-January have sparked more than 71 fires across Tasmania and authorities have since turned to interstate and New Zealand agencies for help.

The fires have so far scorched about 107,000ha, including 26,000ha of World Heritage-listed wilderness.


Joint Forces New Zealand Acting Commander, Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, said: "We have sent the five-member firefighting crew to help Tasmanian fire authorities control the bushfires.

"They are working in arduous conditions in forest and rural environments.

New Zealand's Hobart-based liaison officer Tim Mitchell said the firefighters worked in remote areas near the town of Zeehan on Tasmania's west coast on Sunday.

"They have since been shifted to Arthur River in Tasmania's northwest, where the wildfires are threatening local communities, and are working 11- to 12-hour shifts.

"The Kiwis were keen to help the community fight the fires and the Australians really appreciate that they have come to help."