"Substantial" scrub fire in rural Tauranga

By Genevieve Helliwell

About two dozen firefighters spent hours battling a "substantial'' scrub fire that threatened a house in rural Tauranga last night.

Emergency services rushed to Wainui South Rd in Whakamaramara just before 10pm and found a large scrub fire measuring about 300m long.

Twenty volunteer firefighters battled the blaze, which was heading towards a house, said Omokoroa Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Ian Blunt.

"It was quite dangerous and the fire had developed quite substantially by the time we got there,'' Mr Blunt said.

"It was in a gully and there was gusting winds so it was very difficult to put out.''

The firefighters, with two fire trucks and two tankers, battled the blaze until about 12.30am.

The gusting wind pushed the fire towards a house but firefighters managed to put it out before it got too close and caused any damage.

Because of the steep terrain, the fire crews had to stand on the ridge of the gully and fight the fire from about 200m away.

"That was the closes we could get to it,'' Mr Blunt said.

"We had plenty of water ... and we stood on top of the hill and killed it.''

Mr Blunt was not sure how the fire started.

The rural fire officer also attended last night. He was due to return to the site today.

"It was quite a good effort by the boys because it wasn't easy. It was difficult to access and it was very windy so they did a very good job.," Mr Blunt said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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