Fire on Northbank flares up again

Fire on Northbank flares up again

8 January 2007

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A massive scrub and forest fire which devastatedseveral hectares of farmland a week ago reignited on Northbank Rd on Fridayafternoon.

Blenheim, New Zealand — A patch about five metres by six metres on the riverside of the road was smoking intensely by the time Renwick Volunteer FireBrigade got to the fire about 3pm.

Renwick station officer Murray Neal of the Renwick brigade said the patch wassmall but burning intensely.

The ground in the area was still very hot and a strong, hot wind was blowingin the direction of the river.

Mr Neal said it was quite normal for a large fire to reignite but it was”in an unfortunate position” and fire fighters were trying to stop itfrom reaching unburned and very dry grass on the edge of the last fire.

Farmer Alex Macdonald, whose land was involved in the fire, said that by thetime he noticed the smoke the fire brigade was already there.

Fire fighters and contractors had been dampening down hot spots on the fireall week, he said.

Just two days before the fire reignited, fire officials had decided it wasfinally out.

Mr Macdonald said a lot of fences had been burned in the fire which would bea huge job to fix.

Firefighters from all over Marlborough and three helicopters helped douse thelarge forest fire two days before New Year’s Eve.

Mr Macdonald’s wife, Pam, was packing the family’s precious possessions suchas photos into their ute in case they had to escape as fire came within just apaddock of their home.

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