Birds to blame for fire

By Genevieve Helliwell

Pukehina volunteer fire fighters drove out of their patch to attend a fire at a rural road works site today.

The crew were called to the intersection of Pikowai Rd and Campbell Rd, inland from the Matata straights.

Chief fire officer Errol Watts said the crew were called to a road grader fire about 9.50am.

"It was a road works area where a gang of guys were putting a new seal on the road,'' he said.

The fire was reasonably small and would have caused a bit of damage to the electrical wiring of the road grader, which Mr Watts said was "pretty large''.

He said it was about a 60 kilometre round trip and it took the crew "a fair while'' to get there and back.

By the time they arrived, the road workers had managed to put out the fire. They had a water tanker on site, Mr Watts said.

Mr Watts didn't know what caused the fire but suspected birds were to blame.

"I know from my own experience birds get into the tractor and can build a nest in the time that you've stopped for lunch.

"They can get under the bonnet and make their nest on top of the manifold and when the tractor starts, it can catch fire.''

"It can be a real trick for beginners.''

Mr Watts said most large pieces of machinery had sensors that could detect if there was a fire or something wasn't


"A light will come on on the dashboard and it will tell you not to use it.''

- Bay of Plenty Times

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