New Zealand South Island's massive forest fire not contained

16:54, February 25, 2010      

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New Zealand firefighters continued to battle a massive forest blaze near South Island's southern city of Dunedin on Thursday.

Firefighters warned that it's likely to be at least several days before the fire brought under control. The fire caused no casualties.

The fire, which started on Tuesday, has been getting larger by the day, now covers 820 hectares of the Mount Allan area north- west of Dunedin.

Four homes have been evacuated as a precaution.

A Dunedin City Council civil defense training officer, Glenn Mitchell, said the fire will take a long time to contain and even longer to bring under control, according to Radio New Zealand.

Fire crews, who have been hindered in their efforts so far by winds of up to 60 km an hour, will continue working after the flames have been put out, in order to extinguish deep-seated subterranean smoldering.

Ground crews have begun assisting 10 helicopters and an airplane in spreading water and foam on the fire.

Source: Xinhua
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