Fire experts to fly to Antarctica

Specialist fire investigator Mark Thomas has always wanted to go to Antarctica.

Now, three months before he retires, he will step foot on the frozen continent to evaluate fire protection, suppression and emergency evacuation plans at Scott Base.

Antarctica New Zealand has requested the inspection to make sure it is up to the same standard as regulations in New Zealand, Mr Thomas said.

The Christchurch investigator, along with Fire and Emergency New Zealand senior fire engineer Paul Richards and a representative from the fire protection industry, will spend seven days on the ice looking at ways to improve evacuation plans and how fires are dealt with.

“It is an interesting place with some unique challenges. Depending on the time of the year, you can’t just have people running outside. Sometimes the weather out there is more dangerous than the fire,” Mr Thomas said.