14 Feb 2013

NZ firefighters sent to bushfire state

7:05 pm on 14 February 2013

New Zealand firefighters have headed to Australia to help fight bushfires.

The 44 firefighters will be based in Gippsland, in the state of Victoria, for 16 days.

Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain said on Thursday they will provide respite for Victorian fire-fighters who have spent two months battling the blazes in extreme heat.

Mr Tremain says at the time of the 2011 February earthquake in Christchurch, Australia sent a large Urban Search and Rescue team to help out and New Zealand is happy to be able to return the favour.