Six Northland firefighters helping their Tasmania counterparts battle wildfires are returning home today.
They are due back at Whangarei Airport in Onerahi about 8pm after a hectic two-week deployment in which they mainly set up lines and were involved in mopping up as part of a Remote Area Team (RAT).
The team of Glen Coulston, Matiu Mataira, Paul Cornille, Clea Gardiner (Whangarei), James McLaughlin (Kauri Coast), and Clinton Lyall (Bay of Islands) worked in 3500ha of bush at Montumana, northwestern Tasmania, an area with few houses.
All DoC workers, they volunteered to be a part of a 12-strong Kiwi contingent who left for Australia after help from New Zealand was requested.
The media liaison officer for the Kiwi firefighters, John Barnes, said the weather had "quietened down", which helped keep fires at bay: "There's been good rain in some areas, including an old logging area the Kiwi firefighters had been working at, where it was pouring down."
The Northlanders were on standby after fire warnings were issued for Hobart last week and Mr Barnes said they did travel to the state capital. "But the weather wasn't too bad. Fortunately the (Hobart) winds didn't pick up, although the temperature was hovering in the 30s."
The Northlanders then went to Hamilton, northwest of Hobart, before returning to Montumana.
"They're a good, fit lot and we've had some good feedback from the Tasmanians."
No formal request had come through to help in New South Wales, where the mercury hit a record 45.8C in many parts of the state last Friday.
A fiery air mass from inland Australia had moved over the state, pushing the mercury up.