New Zealand: wildfire at military rifle range

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New Zealand Rifle Range fire
New Zealand Rifle Range fire
A helicopter drops water near personnel at fire at a New Zealand Rifle Range. Screen grab from the video.

A grenade is the suspected cause of a fire that began at a New Zealand Defence Force rifle range near West Melton on Wednesday. The military was conducting a grenade exercise when the fire started on a warm, dry day with very strong winds. In the video below, which shows helicopters dropping on the fire, the winds appear to be blowing at 20 to 25 mph, at least. In spite of the winds and the rapidly moving fire, you can see a group of 10 to 15 people engaged in some type of activity very close to the fire, which burned 50 hectares (123 acres).

On Tuesday another fire was started by military personnel near Waiouru. In that case it was Singaporean soldiers using live ammunition during a training exercise. It was contained Tuesday night after burning 350 hectares (864 acres) of brush.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “New Zealand: wildfire at military rifle range”

  1. Boys and girls, can you say “Fort Carson, Colorado”? Dry, windy spring days. Yep.

    At least none of those fires have spread off-post, yet.


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