15 Sep 2008

High winds hamper firefighting efforts in Samoa

11:21 am on 15 September 2008

Over 100 firefighters and disaster officials are struggling to put out a bush fire burning near two villages on Savaii island in Samoa, due to high winds.

Disaster Management official, Filomena Nelson, says wind speeds are making it difficult to put out the fire near Asau and A'opo, which started last week

Filomena Nelson says they are hopeful they can put out one part of the fire alongside a main road today and control the fire away from residential village areas housing a combined population of 2000 people.

"The wind speeds have picked up early this morning. It's about 10 to 15 knots and gusting to 20 knots. And thats the biggest problem we are having at the moment in trying to extinguish this fire is the wind speeds and th wind direction as they keep changing."

Filomena Nelson says so far over 2000 acres of bushland has been destroyed in the fire.