Northland forest fire still smouldering after 12 days

Northland forest fire still smouldering after 12 days

13 February 2007

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New Zealand — A forest fire that wiped out a pine plantation on Northland’swest coast, is still smouldering.

The fire on Crown land north of Dargaville destroyed more than 200 hectaresof pines. It was started on February 1, apparently by someone cooking mussels ona campfire on a beach.

A Department of Conservation rural fire officer Trevor Bullock says the areais old kauri country, and the peat soils are still burning in some places.

He says a forestry crew and two DoC workers are using peat nozzles, a firepump, and a digger to get at the underground hotspots.

The plantation is about 3km from the Waipoua Forest, which covers about25,000ha and is the last significant kauri forest in New Zealand.

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