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Burnham fire

Early on Wednesday, 8 May 2024 there was a fire in Defence housing, outside Burnham Military Camp’s perimeter fencing. This page has updates that can be used by media.

NZDF Kiwi

9 May 2024

Burnham fire: update two

The below is to provide additional context to reports that Burnham Military Fire Station was unmanned at the time of Wednesday morning’s fire.

The below is to provide additional context to reports that Burnham Military Fire Station was unmanned at the time of Wednesday morning’s fire.

In the case of the Burnham fire on Wednesday, Rolleston Fire Station firefighters were the first to arrive on the scene.

The Burnham Military Camp Fire Master responded in a Command vehicle, to also provide support.

Since January 2024, the Burnham Military Fire Station has been operating at reduced capacity. As such, New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel provide coverage between 8am and 4.30pm, Monday through Friday.

This is in part due to the need to provide staff respite, and because of low Emergency Responder staffing levels.

The decision to operate on reduced coverage was consulted on, and supported by Fire and Emergency area commanders.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the NZDF and Fire and Emergency ensures that during periods of reduced NZDF coverage, Fire and Emergency is able to provide cover, as was the case on Wednesday morning.

The Burnham Emergency Response Troop maintains the capacity to support a local Fire and Emergency response to major events and/or emergencies for discrete periods, such as during the response to the Port Hills fires earlier this year. That response was supported by two NZDF Rural Fire Appliances, and up to six firefighters rotating on a daily basis.

The NZDF is grateful for the support and partnership of Fire and Emergency in responding to emergencies in the region. 

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