15 Feb 2009

NZ fire fighters to face bushfires on Monday

9:43 pm on 15 February 2009

New Zealand firefighters are due to go to work against the bushfires in Victoria on Monday.

A contingent of 51 national rural fire officers arrived on Friday on an 18 day relief mission.

The group spent time in Melbourne, awaiting the fitting of new radios to their equipment.

They will move to the town of Woori Yallock about 50km east of Melbourne on Sunday night to set up camp.

They will relieve crews working in and around the Yarra Range National Park on the Murrundindi-Kinglake complex of fires from Monday unless the fire situation deteriorates before then.

A separate contingent of 60 specialist forest firefighters also arrived in Melbourne from the United States on Sunday.

Twelve bushfires were still out of control in the state on Saturday - a week after the deaths of at least 181 people on 7 February.