Fire chief Kitchen has had a gutsful'

A fire that started on the side of a road Horeke on Monday was the final straw for Kaitaia's Chief Fire Officer, Colin Kitchen.

He said he had "had a gutsful of stupid people" who were ignoring the Far North's total fire ban and putting property and lives at risk.

The Horeke fire destroyed about 15 ha of vegetation before it was brought under control by ground crews from five fire units and three from the Rural Fire Authority, along with three helicopters. Crews were still there yesterday dampening down.

Bulldozers and diggers were also used to contain the fire, which Mr Kitchen said appeared to have been deliberately lit.

"Some people seem to think it's their right to burn rubbish. They don't understand the consequences, which could be disastrous," he said.

"It's putting real pressure on the volunteers - it's hard enough getting volunteers as it is - and on their employers and families."

- Northland Age

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