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UPDATE: Marlborough fire continues

A helicopter fighting the massive Marlborough fire has crashed. 

It’s understood the pilot has escaped unscathed in the accident this morning.

Police were on their way to investigate at 11.15am. 

“A chopper’s gone down. The pilot’s out and is okay but we’re still on our way to the scene…it does appear the [helicopter] was tasked in relation to the firefighting up there,” said Inspector John Doherty of Police Southern Communications. 

Richard ‘Mac’ McNamara, Marlborough-Kaikoura Rural Fire Authority general manager, said he was dealing with a major issue and unable to immediately comment.

Tankers, helicopters and water bomber planes joined a huge fire-fighting effort where a blaze is still raging out of control in Marlborough today.

Homes were threatened from the fire covering up to 150 hectares of scrub near Onamalutu.

The fire broke out last night. 

The country was steep and rugged and the fire would take “a lot of effort” to be contained, Richard McNamara, Principal Rural Fire Officer for the area, told Radio New Zealand.

He said the “aerial attack” would help knock the force out of the fire but ground crews would probably have to spend days putting out burning embers.

– NZ Herald


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