21 Nov 2008

Report criticises sending NZ firefighters to danger area

8:25 pm on 21 November 2008

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that 11 New Zealand firefighters injured while battling bushfires in Australia in 2006 should never have been in the area.

The ABC has obtained a report by Australian and New Zealand fire authorities that criticises the management of the team.

The New Zealanders had to run for their lives when they were caught in a flare-up near Mansfield in north-east Victoria.

The ABC says the report shows fire crews were working on a steep slope with fire below them and unburnt ground in between.

It quotes a former fire officer as saying those in charge knew this and should never have let the crew work there.