Kaimaumau blaze costs more than $500,000

Kaimaumau blaze costs more than $500,000

24 March 2010

published by www.stuff.co.nz

New Zealand —   The cost of fighting a scrub fire that has burned at Kaimaumau near Kaitaia for more than a month and may have been arson is likely to top $500,000.

Firefighters were last week monitoring hot spots at the 125ha fire ground on the shores of Rangaunu Harbour for flare-ups, injecting sea water into the ground to douse burning peat.

They expect to remain at the site for another seven days.

Principal fire officer Kevin Ihaka says the final cost of fighting the fire, which started on February 10, has not been calculated, but the bill is likely to be more than $500,000.

Mr Ihaka says an average of 90 firefighters from 18 fire crews across the Northland district, as well as Rotorua and Palmerston North, have fought the fire each day working 11-13 hour shifts.

About 47 Fire Protection Services firefighters have been contracted to control the fire since the start of the month.

Kaitaia police say an officer from the Houhora police station attended the fire but the Kaitaia criminal investigation bureau is not investigating the cause of the fire.

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