Access the key to fighting bushfire

Access the key to fighting bushfire

25 February 2013

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New Zealand — Fire crews are trying to find ways to get appliances through rough terrain to put out a large bushfire north of Auckland.

About 75 firefighters, supported by three helicopters, two diggers and one bulldozer, are fighting the 70 hectare fire in the Dome Valley, near State Highway 1, which has been burning since Saturday night.

Auckland principal rural fire officer Bryan Cartelle says the fire was contained overnight but getting it put out is another matter.

When asked how to describe the terrain, Mr Cartelle said “have you ever been through the Himalayas?”

“They normally put the roads through the flat stuff, and there’s no roads up here,” he told NZ Newswire.

“We’ve got one road through the centre of the fire ground and one road on the side. We’re trying to create some links so we can save driving right round, and we’re all but through.”

Mr Cartelle said the fire hasn’t spread any further on Monday despite warm weather and a 20km/h wind.

“Access is the key to getting the fire out. When you’ve got to cut your own access it’s hard yakka, and the guys are doing very, very well.”

The fire broke out in Dome Valley, near State Highway 1, about 4.30pm on Saturday.

No properties are believed to be under threat.

The cause of the Dome Valley fire is not yet known but it is thought clay pigeon shooters seen in the area may be responsible.

The blaze was the second to hit the area last week, with the first at Tapora, west of Wellsford.

That fire is contained but still active, and crew remain on site.


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