3 Feb 2020

New Caledonia bushfire destroys hundreds of hectares

1:20 pm on 3 February 2020

About 600 hectares of vegetation has burnt in a weekend bushfire in New Caledonia.

A grass fire between Queenstown and Arrowtown has been tackled.

Photo: Photo / AFP

The blaze north of Noumea threatened homes and forced the evacuation of a holiday centre.

Dozens of firefighters were deployed to battle the blaze in Paita, which at its peak forced the closure of the main road on the western side of Grande Terre.

Reinforcements were brought in from Noumea and the French military contributed a truck.

To fight the fire in hilly areas, helicopters were used.

A stocktake of last year's fires in New Caledonia has found that 2019 was the worst year this century.