FIRES BURN OUT OF CONTROL IN NEW CALEDONIA

NOUMEA, New Caledonia (September 30, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Bushfires in New Caledonia's northwest have destroyed over 7,500 acres of land over the last few days.

Emergency services in the French territory say lack of adequate equipment and difficult access make it impossible to deal with the fires in the central mountain chain.

The man in charge of civil security services in the area, Frank Allemande, said that with extremely dry conditions, strong winds and ground water reserves running out, the worst may be yet to come.

Because of financial difficulties there are no fire-fighting helicopters available.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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