70 firefighters battling Hawke’s Bay fires

70 firefighters battling Hawke’s Bay fires

13 November 2006

published by www.nzherald.co.nz

New Zealand — About 70 firefighters remained at the scene ofseveral apparently deliberate Hawke’s Bay fires in the past 24 hours.

Firefighters were first called to Mohaka, between Napier and Wairoa, about1.45pm yesterday.

Wairoa principal rural fire officer Te Aroha Cook said there were severalfires in the Mohaka area yesterday afternoon and overnight.

The biggest was a forest blaze over a 25ha block which closed State Highway 2and caused a house to be evacuated.

Seven helicopters, four appliances and two tankers battled the flames.

Today, about 70 firefighters were still at the scene damping down the remainsof the earlier fires and containing new outbreaks.

Wairoa police were investigating the possibility of arson.

Eastern region fire manager Trevor Brown said the fires were being treated assuspicious because of the significant number in the last couple of weeks.

“You can never be certain about this but you have to say yes –conditions aren’t that extreme at this stage.”

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