6 Feb 2018

Chatham's fire now under control

5:59 pm on 6 February 2018

The big fire that has been burning on Chatham Island for five days is now contained, Fire and Emergency says.

Images taken from a Royal New Zealand C-130 of a bush fire on the Chatham Islands. The images were taken in order to inform New Zealand Fire And Emergency of what will be required to subdue the blaze.

An photo taken from a Royal New Zealand C-130 of the bush fire on Chatham Island. Photo: Supplied / New Zealand Defence Force

Latest mapping shows it has burnt through 2500 hectares of vegetation.

Fire and Emergency's Wayne Boness, who has just returned from the Chathams, said it could still be weeks before the fire was fully out.

However, the blaze had not grown in the last two days.

He said three ground crews, two helicopters and an incident management team had been involved today.

"There's been a really concerted effort with ground crews and the aerial attack and people just working together to get it under control.

"It's really pleasing to see the progress that has been made," he said.

Mr Boness said two fire investigators were also at the scene, and now it was contained, they had begun looking into what caused it.

Department of Conservation and Chatham Island Council staff, as well as engineers, had helped tackle the blaze.

The Chatham Islands are an archipelago in the Pacific about 800km east of the South Island.

About 600 people live on two of the 10 islands that make up the Chathams, Chatham Island and Pitt Island, and rely on conservation, tourism, farming and fishing.

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