We are proudly supported by the following companies

  • Crafar Crouch Construction
  • Delegat
  • Waitui Farm Ltd
  • Forest & Environmental Management Marlborough Ltd
  • Kekerengu Valley Farm
  • Downer Group
  • Mark Stevenson First National Real Esate
  • Yealands Estate
  • Department of Conservation
  • Marlborough Forest Industry Association
  • Top of the South Caravan Hire
  • Earnslaw One Ltd
  • Susan Pope Ltd
  • PWS Professional Web Solutions
  • Meaters of Marlborough
  • Busy Bee Contracting
  • Mitre 10 Mega Marlborough
  • Top Town Cinemas
  • Alpha Lea Contracting
  • Sanford
  • Merrill Ring
  • Bluff Station Ltd
  • Keneperu Water Taxis
  • Lowlands Wines
  • Marlborough Girls College
  • Sounds Air
  • Oyster Bay
  • Rai Silviculture Ltd
  • PF Olsen
  • GCSB
  • Springview Vineyard
  • Tractor Repairs and Spares
  • Slip Inn Cafe
  • Marlborough District Council
  • Advanced Electrical Blenheim
  • Marlborough Regional Forrestry
  • Interislander
  • Gale Contracting
  • Kaikoura District Council
  • New World Blenheim
  • Te Mahia Lodge
  • Nelson Forrests Ltd

Fire in our landscape. Everyone's Responsibility

Here you will find information on your Marlborough Kaikoura Fire and Emergency authority and how to protect yourself, your family; your neighbours and your business from the threat of rural wildfire

About this website

US Hot Shot Team in Marlborough

US Hot Shot Team in Marlborough Date Posted: Jan 31, 2018

US Hotshots help look after our visitor sites

Since 2008, a bunch of elite United States wild fire fighters have been helping to care for DOC visitor sites and to fight fires during our New Zealand summers.

The Hotshots are named for the elite US Forest Service Hotshots firefighting team but these days those coming here work for various agencies.

The Hotshots have helped us out with removing wilding pines, landscaping amenity areas, painting huts, building structures, fixing up and maintaining firefighting equipment, chain sawing windthrow trees to clear tracks and other tasks, often in back country areas where their hardiness and skills are especially advantageous.

Their outstanding firefighting skills have also been utilised with fighting fires, including some helping to fight the Port Hills fires in Christchurch in February 2017 that destroyed homes and threatened many other properties.

It all started when South Marlborough ranger Matt Flynn went with a crew of New Zealand firefighters to the United States to help fight large wild fires in 2006 and then again in 2008.

“I got the idea when talking to a few of them the first time I went over and when I went back in 2008, seeing how hard they worked and their great skills, it convinced me to get them over here.

“I saw a potential pool of highly-skilled people that could be a great help. They were young, fit, skilled up and wanting to come here.”

The Hotshots volunteer in New Zealand during US winters, outside their high fire risk season. At first two came, then they came in groups of 4-5, and then in our 2018 summer 16 came. Some have come several times

They have generally worked in Nelson, Marlborough and Kaikoura, the region in which Matt, who organises their trips, is based. But in 2018 they also helped to construct track for the new Paparoa Track Great Walk being built on the West Coast in memory of the 29 men who died in the 2010 Pike River Mine disaster.

“They know the rules and what to do and, when they do a job, they hit the ground running and work solidly,” says Matt.

“They love coming here and experiencing the Kiwi culture and working with like-minded people.

“They’ve earned a really good reputation and our DOC guys really appreciate what they do and welcome them back.”

As well as enjoying the New Zealand environment, lifestyle and Kiwi hospitality, the elite US firefighters have also valued experiencing firefighting in New Zealand terrain and conditions. 

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A community responsibility to the threat of rural fire

If you live or own property in a rural area or on the urban–rural interface, you are part of a community that has a responsibility to manage the risk of fires on your property.

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