Residents in the Sunset Valley area may have noticed fire intensity (smoke activity) this morning as Fire and Emergency begins a controlled burn off as a method of fire suppression.

The controlled burn off will create a fire break 2.5 km long and 50m wide at the northern perimeter of the fire at the head of Redwood Valley, above Heines, Johnsons, and Cut Hill Road. Fire and Emergency expect the controlled burn off to be complete by early afternoon.

This is a method used in New Zealand and internationally to supress large vegetation fires to starve the fire of fuel to create a firebreak.

This method is being carried out and by highly experienced operators after careful analysis of predicted and actual fire conditions (weather and environment), and after rigorous risk assessment and analysis of this option.

Fire and Emergency Incident Controller, John Sutton is very experienced with this method in New Zealand and overseas. This morning, he determined this would be the right course of action to control fire in this particular location.

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