Taupo homes evacuated as bush fire rages

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

Two homes were evacuated as 30 firefighters battled a bush fire near Taupo.

New Zealand Fire Service central lakes area commander Graham Fuller said the fire started on Monday evening near Kinloch  and raged into the early hours of Tuesday. Fire crews worked through the night to dampen down hot spots, he said.

"Basically we were called to a scrub fire out [at Whangamata Rd] which, with the high winds, got away pretty quickly out of control.

"It ended up being blown across a wide area in two directions.''

Mr Fuller said  it had burnt between 15 to 20ha of bush, on the boundary of a Department of Conservation reserve.

Mr Fuller said the cause was thought to be a small scrub fire.  

An investigation  is under way.

He said  no homes or structures were damaged  but two homes were evacuated during the fire.

"It certainly had the potential to get way out of control.  

"At one stage in the night it had jumped the road but the guys managed to put it out.''

He praised the good work of the fire crews that attended and stopped the fire from getting any worse.

He said there was a complete fire ban in the area and it was disappointing to see people still lighting fires without a permit.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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