A team of five from Rotorua, along with another team from Taranaki, arrived in the Chatham Islands yesterday.
The fire broke out on February 1 and has ripped through about 2500 hectares of land. The fire is contained, but it's not fully extinguished and isn't expected to be until at least the end of the month.
Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer, Glenn Thompson, said crews had been working incredibly long days and in trying conditions. He said it was important they get swapped out with other crews so they get the chance to have a break. A team of five from Rotorua, along with another team from Taranaki, arrived in the Chatham Islands yesterday.
The fire that broke out on the first day of February has ripped through about 2500 hectares of land.
The crews are expected to stay for at least a week and will work with the local council, land owners, helicopter pilots and Department of Conservation staff to help put out the fire. "This is an ongoing fire, it's a really deep burning fire and it's extremely difficult to access, being in a very remote location. There are some deep-seated hotspots all around the fire perimeter, so it will take time and a lot of hard work to put it out."
Thompson said bouts of rain had helped ease the fire, with about 35mm falling recently however thick fog blanketing the islands had at times forced a stop to the work the helicopter crews had been doing.
One firefighting crew from Wellington, which has been fighting the blaze since it began, was expected to fly back from the islands tomorrow and on Saturday. "The conditions they've been dealing with have been pretty difficult." Thompson said the firefighting response had been a huge team effort and he wanted to thank all those involved.