Hearty roast to send visiting firefighters off after tough days of battling in Hastings hills

By Alice Lock -
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TUCKER TIME: Defence Force senior firefighter Cameron Turner from Linton enjoying the roast put on by the Hastings District Council, Civil Defence and Rapid Relief Team. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR.
TUCKER TIME: Defence Force senior firefighter Cameron Turner from Linton enjoying the roast put on by the Hastings District Council, Civil Defence and Rapid Relief Team. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR.

Firefighters who came to the rescue and battled the fires across the Hastings district were given a top send-off last night.

About 120 firefighters from Wellington to Auckland gathered in Hastings for a Kiwi roast put on by the Hastings District Council, Civil Defence and Rapid Relief Team.

One of these firefighters enjoying the feed-up was Defence Force senior firefighter Cameron Turner.

Mr Turner arrived in Hawke's Bay on Monday evening from Linton and was sent straight out to Waimarama for night shift.

"We looked out for hot spots and dealt with any of those then patrolled around the homes at risk and the Waimarama area."

With little sleep during the past few nights Mr Turner was thrilled with the roast put on for them yesterday.

"I am so tired that I can't actually sleep. I think I'm now overtired so this food tonight is great."

Manawatu/Rangitikei fire crew leader Nick West also said the spread was brilliant after a few days of tough work.

Mr West was controlling sector one of the Waimarama fire and said the conditions were pretty hard.

"It was hot, dry and we did a lot of physical hand work on steep terrain so you could say I am pretty tired."

He said this was one of the harder jobs he had so far responded to.

Meanwhile Taranaki firefighter John Bowie was out at Colin White Rd fighting hotspots.

"It was very hot and windy on the first day but today was more of a recovery day which was good as conditions eased."

He said the meal was the best he had had and he was stoked with the hearty roast to keep him going.

Incident controller Craig Cameron thanked the fire crews on behalf of the Hastings District Council for their hard work and top efforts.

He said there had been an amazing response from crews around the country and due to this the fire was able to be contained and the emergency status dropped.

"With your help and the weather the fire situation was able to be turned around."

Rapid Relief Team co-ordinator Andrew Taylor said they wanted to put on a good spread so they could send those firefighters from out of town off with a hot meal and full stomach.

A bottle of wine and a thank-you letter from the council was given to the firefighters on their way out.

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