Fire destroys 200ha forest

Fire destroys 200ha forest

10January 2005


Eight helicopters and 50 firefighters yesterday battled a 200-hectare forest fire in northern Hawke’s Bay.

The fire broke out on Saturday in Pan Pac Forest Products’ Mohaka Forest at Kotemaori, 45km south of Wairoa following dry weather, hot temperatures and high winds.

Pan Pac forestry manager and principal rural fire officer Ed Saathof said the flames had now been extinguished but there were still “hundreds of hotspots” on the block, which sits among another 20,000ha of forests.

Mr Saathof said as well as the helicopters and firefighters, five fire appliances, two bulldozers and three excavators had worked on the blaze which was fanned by winds up to 60kph.

Firefighters were set to work through the night dampening down the hotspots.

“We’ve been in a situation over the last month or two where we haven’t had a lot of rain. unlike the rest of the country,” said Mr Saathof.

Of the trees lost, 160ha were 15-20 years old and 40ha were newly planted.

He was optimistic the fire wouldn’t spread into the remaining thousands of hectares of forests and the weather was now still and humid with a prospect of rain.

“We’re pretty confident that we’ll contain it in its current boundaries.” 


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