Winds fan huge fires

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - World -

Strong winds are fan­ning fires that have been burn­ing for a week through New Zealand’s South Is­land, forc­ing up to 3000 of peo­ple from their homes, with more ex­pected to flee.

The Pi­geon Val­ley fire cov­ers 2300ha, with a 25km perime­ter, NZ Civil De­fence said in a state­ment. No deaths have been re­ported and only one home de­stroyed.

Early yes­ter­day, 155 fire­fight­ers were bat­tling the blaze on the ground with sup­port from 23 he­li­copters and three planes in the largest-ever aerial fire­fight in New Zealand.

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