Radio problems 'didn't affect' Saddle Hill firefighting

5:53 pm on 28 July 2016

The Otago Rural Fire Authority says it does not believe radio problems during last year's Saddle Hill fire made the outcome worse than it would have been.

Smoke on Saddle Hill, Wednesday 7, 2015

Last October's fire in Saddle Hill, near Mosgiel. Photo: RNZ / Darryl Baser

An operational review of the fire south of Mosgiel in October praised the overall response, but found a range of problems to be fixed.

One key finding was that communications between fire crews were compromised by technical problems during the first few hours of the fire.

The Otago principal rural fire officer, Stephanie Rotarangi, said radio communications were always a focus in such events.

"There were some technical things on that day linking channels that we use, however the report made it clear there are some good recommendations we can take on board for our next incident," she said.

"In my opinion it didn't affect the result of the day, we used fullback positions and firefighters are very adaptable."

Ms Rotarangi said there were plenty of things to work on, but she was proud of the response to the fire.

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