8 Dec 2004

French fire specialists now in New Caledonia

2:03 pm on 8 December 2004

Five fire specialists from France are in New Caledonia to decide what action France can take to help the territory fight its bush fires.

In the last three months, bush fires have destroyed thousands of hectares of forest and farm land on Grande Terre, the main island.

Last week, several environmental NGOs issued a joint release criticising the indifference of local authorities regarding the bush fires.

And this week, the president of the Southern Province, Philippe Gomes, has accused the French government, which is in charge of civil defence in the territory, of not taking its responsibility seriously.