22 Oct 2013

NZ firefighters ready to help battle NSW bushfires

9:01 am on 22 October 2013

The Fire Service says New Zealand firefighters could be sent to help battle the bushfires in New South Wales.

A state of emergency is in place after more than 200 homes were destroyed in the fires which have been burning in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, since Thursday.

Prime Minister John Key telephoned New South Wales premier Barry O'Farrell on Monday to offer help to fight the fires.

Mr Key said the premier told him the situation was serious and said he would not hesitate to call for assistance if needed.

National Rural Fire Officer Murray Dudfield said if a formal request is made, a Fire Service liaison officer will travel to the Australian state to establish how many firefighters are needed, and where.

Mr Dudfield said 60 firefighters helped during bushfires in Victoria earlier this year, and that number, or more, could go again.