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Firefighters on Auckland's west coast frustrated by people flouting lockdown rules

Muriwai’s volunteer firefighters are angry their time is being wasted as some people continue to flout the nationwide lockdown rules.

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The brigade in the coastal community of Muriwai, in West Auckland, is pleading with people nationwide to take the restrictions seriously. Source: 1 NEWS

“I think to be fair, it's tremendously frustrating for us to have to be put in danger, essentially, and our families in danger, to come out and deal with things that are non-essential,” Muriwai Fire Brigade CFO Pheelan Perrie said.

As an essential service, the crew has had to come into contact with people ignoring the restrictions by burning rubbish or holding bonfire gatherings at the beach.

“Volunteers like ourselves have to leave our families at home to go out and deal with it and we're here for emergencies - that's why we're all volunteering - not to go and put pointless bonfires out.”

1 NEWS was present when a bonfire located on a beach sparked up again.

With an incoming tide and deep sand, the crew’s vehicle became bogged down and eight crews were left “up the beach for four hours because we couldn't be back here,” Mr Perrie said.

“That meant if there was a house fire in Muriwai, we didn't have enough crew to deal with it.”

The Muriwai fire station is already understaffed, with some volunteers unable to work because their family members were at risk.

Mr Perrie said he was “genuinely scared” for the coming weeks.

“I've seen what's happened in Italy and Spain - thousands and thousands of people have died. This is incredibly serious. If people don't follow these simple rules, people will die.”

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