PNG Fire Service powerless to fight blazes

1:14 pm on 24 September 2015

The Papua New Guinea Fire Chief says the service will not be able to assist many of the people battling fires around the country.

Satellite imagery from the University of PNG's Remote Sensing Centre shows hundreds of fires across the country over the past few days.

There have also been reports of over 100 hectares of forest being devastated by fire and villagers in the Western Highlands battling a blaze for three days.

Chief Officer Isaac Silas says he doesn't have the resources to help.

"We have about 22 provinces here. We provide coverage for about 10 of those provinces only. The coverage is only for those built-up areas so our presence is not even right throughout the country. We need to instil volunteerism as part of the way going forward."

Mr Silas says he feels for the people of rural PNG but he hands are tied.

Fire in PNG

Fire in PNG Photo: Jeremy Randerson