Date: 10 January 2012
The Department of Conservation, as part of Southern Rural Fire, responded to a fire last night in the Doubtful Islands group in Lake Te Anau.
A helicopter with monsoon bucket was used to help bring the fire under control
The fire, on the southern end of Doubtful Island, at the entrance to Middle Fiord in Lake Te Anau, was fed by 10 knot northwesterly winds. The fire burnt towards the lake end of the island.
A fire crew and helicopter with a wajax pump and monsoon bucket were used to fight the one hectare blaze. The team of five DOC staff worked for four hours to bring the fire under control. A further ground crew of seven has been sent in to dampen down today. This will be assisted by light rain that started at 8am.
There are very strong indications the fire was caused by a campfire that was not properly extinguished. A total fire ban exists in the region with both rural and forested areas extremely dry. Ross Kerr, DOC Incident Controller says, “Even in a place like Fiordland where people think the forest is wet, it’s not. If this fire was on the opposite beach it would have been blowing inshore into the Takehe Area and we could be looking at a much more significant problem. Fire ban means NO fires.”
Kiwi were transferred onto the Doubtful Island group about 10 years ago but they failed to thrive and are no longer actively managed on the island.
Initially reported just before 5pm by the Wings and Water floatplane company, further details of the fire were provided by Real Journeys’ caves boat that diverted off course to gather more information. The Department thanks the numerous members of the public and the commercial operators who assisted with information.