Fire in scrub and pine in South Hokianga

By Peter de Graaf


UPDATE 12.30pm:


Three helicopters have been stood down. A ground crew from Forest Protection Services is dampening down hotspots. The cause of the fire, about 1km from the nearest public road, is being investigated.


10.30am:


Firefighters from around the Mid North are fighting a fire in scrub and pine in South Hokianga.

Details are still sketchy but it is believed to be off Horeke Rd, between the settlements of Horeke and Taheke.

Two helicopters equipped with monsoon buckets are at the scene and crews from Kaikohe and Okaihau are fighting the flames on the ground. Firefighters describe the area as "critically dry".

As of 10.30am the flames covered an area of roughly one hectare but the wind was light and the fire was contained.

The same area was the scene of a major scrub fire in January 2010, thought to have been started by a rubbish fire. It burnt 70ha and forced the evacuation of three homes.

Firefighters managed to stop the flames just metres from the houses.

All of Northland is subject to a total fire ban; despite that, firefighters have been called out to dozens of deliberate fires in recent weeks. Fire authorities are vowing to make anyone who starts a blaze pay for putting it out, which can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.

- Northern Advocate

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