9 Jan 2019

New Caledonia firefighter seriously injured

6:01 pm on 9 January 2019

A firefighter in New Caledonia is in a critical condition after being injured trying to contain a blaze in the far north.

New Caledonia's main hospital

New Caledonia's main hospital Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

The volunteer firefighter is on life support in Noumea's main hospital according to an official statement.

The fire in Koumac has destroyed about 1000 hectares of vegetation and forced the evacuation of several dozen people.

Local authorities have said they believe the fire is the result of some criminal activity in Koumac's Kokondo industrial zone.

The blaze is being fuelled by strong winds and high temperatures.

Ten vehicles, two helicopters and 25 personnel are battling the fire.