30 firefighters working on Paihia bush fire

30 firefighters working on Paihia bush fire


03 January 2006

published by http://www.nzherald.co.nz 

Fire-fighters are continuing to douse the remaining hot spots burning after yesterday’s 15ha bush fire in Paihia, Bay of Islands.

Overnight, 30 firefighters from the Department of Conservation and New Zealand Fire Service contained the fire that was first reported just before noon yesterday.

“The fire’s in a mop-up phase — just a little bit of smoke here and there,” DOC duty officer Glen Coulston told NZPA today.

“It hasn’t grown any more from yesterday and [we’re] hoping that by the end of today it should be all finished.”

Up to seven fire appliances and three helicopters brought the fire under control by mid-afternoon, Mr Coulston said.

The fire, 2km from Paihia, was in a forest on private land within 1km of DOC land, which meant DOC was responsible for containing it.

Mr Coulston said the fire came within a few metres of a reserve where DOC is trying to improve numbers of the endangered North Island brown kiwi.

Mr Coulston said it was possible some kiwi had been affected by the fire, but he hadn’t received any information to say whether their habitat had been damaged.

“The fire didn’t get onto any of the DOC land where the kiwi programme is running but it’s possible their habitat stretches onto the private land which was on fire,” he told NZPA.

Mr Coulston said a few houses were threatened during the blaze.

The Fire Service received between 30 and 40 calls notifying it of the fire. One call came from Kerikeri, about 20km away .

He said DOC was unsure of the cause of the fire and they were still investigating.


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