Tinderbox conditions fuelling fires

Tinderbox conditions fuelling fires

05 March 2014

published by www.stuff.co.nz

New Zealand —  Crews from around the Waikato helped fight a large peat fire in Glenview yesterday afternoon.

The fire was in a paddock off Houchens Rd and covered 1000 square metres, fire northern communications shift manager Jaron Phillips said.

Crews – including three water tankers – from Te Awamutu and Ngaruawahia were called to fight the blaze, which was burning in peat.

“They’re quite difficult, these fires, to extinguish because it’s burning pretty much under ground,” Mr Phillips said.

The first calls came at 2.42pm but nine crews were still onsite around 5.20pm.

The fire had been contained but firefighters were working on stopping the spread, Mr Phillips said.

Meanwhile, a fire in a pine plantation south of Te Kuiti was also keeping crews busy. The blaze could be seen in the middle of the plantation on SH30, Kopaki, Mr Phillips said, but no further information was available on the size.

A helicopter was on its way because the site was about 200m off the road and difficult to access, but crews from Te Kuiti, Benneydale and a water tanker from Otorohanga had also responded.

In the Hauraki District, high winds whipped up a grass fire to cover about two acres and a helicopter had to be called to fight it.

Two crews from Paeroa and two from Puriri arrived to fight the fire in Komata, near Paeroa, shortly after midday, Mr Phillips said. A helicopter was called in to assist. Firefighters left the scene about 1.45pm.

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