Hutt Valley fire under control

Hutt Valley fire under control

16 November 2008

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New Zealand — A scrub fire in Wellington which caused traffic delays on State Highway 2 has been put out.

Inspector Steve Darroch from central police communications said northbound traffic on SH2, Western Hutt Rd, was earlier backed up due to a scrub fire just north of the Dowse interchange.

Motorists were advised to avoid the area.

Central fire communications shift manager Murray Dunbar said the fire was “sorted out” by 5.12pm.

Traffic had eased by 5.30pm.

Meanwhile, a suspicious fire engulfed almost two hectares of scrub and threatened 10 houses and a school on the Kapiti Coast today.

The fire service were called to the blaze, in an area of bush behind Raumati South School at 2.50pm, central fire communications shift manager Tim Rees said.

He said the large blaze was threatening several properties, residents were evacuated and a helicopter was on standby to assist firefighters.

Speaking to NZPA from the scene, Paraparaumu deputy chief fire officer Tim Morgan said the fire was under control within an hour and by 5pm they were dampening down hot spots.

He said none of the ten houses threatened on Leinster Ave were damaged and all the residents had been allowed to return.

The wind direction meant the school was not in any danger, he said.

Over 60 firefighters and 12 appliances attended the blaze, though the helicopter was not needed.

The fire was “certainly suspicious” and police will investigate how it started, Mr Morgan said.

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