Winds fan flames

Winds fan flames

21 January 2013

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New Zealand —  High winds and hot, humid conditions made fighting a fire difficult on forestry land in Upper Moutere yesterday.

About 3-4 hectares of land, largely forestry slash, was burnt in the blaze.

A tanker and crew of four firefighters remained at the scene last night.

Appleby Rural Fire Force controller Paul Eggers said the fire was originally one that had burnt last week.

It started smouldering yesterday and got out of control in the wind after attempts were made to bury it with a digger.

The Fire Service was called to the fire off Flaxmore Rd, at 12.30pm yesterday.

The fire was largely logging slash and burnt about 3-4ha. Firefighters prevented it spreading on to farmland. The area had been felled one or two years ago.

Volunteer firefighters from the Brightwater, Appleby and Tasman rural fire forces and the Upper Moutere and Motueka volunteer fire brigades attended the fire.

Mr Eggers said about 30 firefighters and five tankers were used to fight the fire.

Yesterday’s strong winds, which were gusting up to 30kmh, made fighting the fire difficult and spot fires broke out.

“With the wind there was a lot of smoke. It was hard to attack the head of it,” Mr Eggers said.

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