Smouldering ashes spark farm blaze


A fire in Te Hauke which spread across half a hectare and threatened a woolshed, has prompted a warning about disposing of fireplace ashes correctly.

The Otane Fire Brigade and Hastings Rural Fire were called to the blaze about 2.30pm yesterday which began when ashes were fanned by a breeze.

"It was caused by a man chucking ashes on top of a heap from last year which contained charcoal. It smouldered for four days before wind picked up and it caught fire to the long, dry grass," Hastings District Council principal rural fire officer Trevor Mitchell said.

"It even burnt a paddock where the grass was very short."

Flames threatened a nearby woolshed and neighbouring properties but was controlled before it did any structural damage.

While there had been some rain recently, Mr Mitchell said it was not enough to prevent the threat of fire.

"The message is, we are coming into winter and people need to be more careful about disposing of ashes. We recommend putting them in a steel container and wetting them down."

Fire restrictions were still in place throughout Hawke's Bay and a permit was required for any open air fires.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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