Winds fan huge fires
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.