Some large-scale fires that required intensive fire fighting from the air meant that the initial annual budget of $ 6.7 million set by Fentz was exceeded in three months. Numbers released under the Official Information Act show that Lake Ohau, one of New Zealand’s largest vegetation fires, cost more than $ 1.2 million last October.
The cause of the fire that destroyed about 50 houses and more than 5,000 ha has not been clarified. The majority of $ 702,000 was spent on aerial firefighters. Fifteen helicopters took 261 hours to extinguish the fire, and three fixed-wing aircraft were deployed for 15 hours. Lewin Brigley, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Fentz, said most of the money came from taxation of fire insurance, but aerial fire fighting services were funded by the country’s local fire budget.
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