5 Jan 2007

Financial boost helps New Caledonia firefighters

4:39 pm on 5 January 2007

An enormous financial boost to the New Caledonian fire brigade has made a huge difference in containing fires in the territory.

Firefighters struggled to cope with a number of disastrous fires in 2005, which required a call for international assistance.

However, our correspondent in Noumea Tuo Chinula, says a bigger budget, which includes more personnel, equipment and better communication has made a big difference.

"The changes have been quite drastic, very positive in that this season as compared to the previous seasons when fires have broken out, the firefighters have been able to get in there and bring the fire under control a lot quicker this season. There was a major fire this season, which was bigger than the fire that happened last season, now, last season, the fire burnt for over a month out of control. And this season the firefighters were able to bring it under control in a matter of days."

Tuo Chinula adds French firefighters are in the territory for the fire season to support the local fire crews.