Wildfires – New Zealand

Strong winds are expected to continue to fan forest fires that have been burning for a week through New Zealand’s South Island, that have forced more than 3 000 people from their homes.

Early on Sunday, 155 firefighters were battling the blaze on the ground with air support from 23 helicopters and three fixed wing planes, making it the largest aerial firefight on record in New Zealand.

The Pigeon Valley fire covers 2,300 hectares (5,700 acres) with a 25 km (15 mile) perimeter, NZ Civil Defence said on its website. No deaths have been reported and only one home destroyed as of Sunday.

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