Train gets blame for grass fire

By Patrick O'Sullivan

Sparks from a passing train were suspected of starting a 5-hectare grass fire at Te Hauke yesterday.

The blaze was brought under control with the help of local farmers, three helicopters and fire crews.

Reported at 2.35pm, the fire was alongside railway tracks, close to Te Aute Trust Rd.

The helicopters scooped water from a dam alongside State Highway 2 on Te Aute Hill nearby.

Units from Otane, Hastings and the Heretaunga rural fire force attended.

The fire was a similar size, with similar strength winds, to another Te Hauke fire last week. But Hastings District Council principal rural fire officer Trevor Mitchell said it had been easier to control because the grass was shorter.

Farmers beat at upwind flames, in temperatures that were already over 30C.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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