6 Dec 2004

Environmentalists in New Caledonia claim indifference to destructive forest fires

7:13 am on 6 December 2004

Ten environmentalist organisations in New Caledonia have denounced the indifference towards the massive destruction caused by forest fires.

The news agency AFP, says they have issued a statement saying efforts to contain the fires have been laughable as 20-thousand hectares have been destroyed in the past two months.

The groups say there should be a fire ban during the dry season because most blazes are caused by people.

Firefighters say they are faced with a catastrophe not seen in ten years and appealed for help, such as more fire fighting aircraft and the dispatch of soldiers.