Warning after shelter belt blaze

By Corey Charlton

A shelter belt fire yesterday has triggered a timely warning from the Fire Service that people need to be more aware of fire safety in the drier summer months.

About 25 firefighters battled the blaze in Twyford for more than two hours yesterday, after a call-out at 2.30pm.

Rural, Hastings and Napier crews attended with four appliances and three tankers.

Hastings senior station officer Darren Clark said the pine tree belt was not completely "involved" all the way through but the pine needles underneath the trees were particularly dry. Although they were not certain how the fire started, a burn-off could have been its cause.

"It may have started from a burn-off, a burn-off that's been going for a while.

"These things can still keep burning for a couple of months and then all of a sudden spread."

He stressed the need for such burn-offs to be monitored.

"Some of these fires can burn and keep lots of heat for weeks and weeks.

"A hot day or a bit of wind and it can flare up again.

"Things are actually getting quite dry out there now. Dry grass and trees and the risk of fire spread [is getting greater]."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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