New Zealand — Fire crews and helicopters carrying monsoon buckets fought a blaze in tinder-dry pine forest in South Hokianga yesterday.
The fire started in a forestry block off Horeke Rd, midway between Horeke and Taheke, about 9.20am.
Anxious to prevent a repeat of a devastating forest fire at Horeke in late 2011 – which destroyed 350ha of trees, threatened homes and marae, and cost more than $600,000 to put out – firefighters from Kaikohe and Okaihau rushed to the scene while three helicopters used monsoon buckets to douse the flames, limiting the blaze to about 1ha of trees.
The cause of the fire, which started about 1km from the nearest public road, was not clear.
Yesterday’s blaze follows a spate of fires around the North with a serious one on Monday near Takou Bay, just north of the Bay of Islands, which started when a quad bike caught fire and threatened a number of houses.
Firefighters have also been kept busy responding to backyard rubbish fires despite a total fire ban in force across Northland.