Taihape bush fire continues to burn

Taihape bush fire continues to burn

10 April 2013

published by www.stuff.co.nz

New Zealand — Fire fighters have spent the night at at a large bushfire in an area of native trees in Taihape as hot spots continue to burn.

The fire which caused a nearby kindergarten to be evacuated is this morning under control and its cause is now being investigated.

Hot spots continue to burn and the fire service will remain at the scene today, Whanganui Fire Station command unit officer Aaron Summerhays said.

Helicopters were called in to help battle the large bushfire yesterday afternoon, which was believed to be lit in suspicious circumstances.

At 3.50pm, the fire had been “contained”, but a fire spokeswoman said it could take a further four to six hours to put the fire out completely.

Fire services were called to the fire, in an area between Taihape’s Goldfinch St and State Highway 1 Mataroa Rd known as Mt Stewart, about 11.55am yesterday.

The fire was said to be 400m by 400m, and was spreading uphill from the Goldfinch St side of the bushland.

A kindergarten had been evacuated, but no other properties at this stage, she said.

Multiple fire stations, including Taihape, Ohakune, Rangiwahia and Hunterville were called in to help battle the blaze, and two helicopters have been called in with monsoon buckets.

Tankers from Whanganui and Waiouru had been sent, and Palmerston North fire station also sent supplies.

Taihape Kindergarten was evacuated, but businesses were expected to reopen today, Mr. Summerhays said.

Dianne Turner, manager of the nearby Gumboot Manor Restaurant, said she had seen the fire from her home on Goldfinch St.

Her property was not threatened, but she could see flames leaping from tree to tree from where she lives, she said.

“It’s huge and travelling really fast because it’s so dry.”

She described the fire as being behind Kingfisher Pl, off Goldfinch St, covering an area almost to Linnet St.

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