High winds fan Wairarapa blaze

By Nathan Crombie nathan.crombie@age.co.nz

About 16 firefighters are in the third hour of battling a blaze in high winds that broke out in a shelter belt of pine trees alongside East West Access Rd in rural Featherston.

Porky Sexton, South Wairarapa District councillor and rural fire party officer, said rural fire crews from Lake Ferry and Ngawi have joined with firefighters from Martinborough and Featherston to battle the fire, which embers from a

nearby controlled burn-off had ignited about noon today.

Mr Sexton said at 2.30pm today firefighters would be at the scene for at least another hour and a half and there was a possibility the farm that had responnsibility for the initial controlled burn could be billed for some of the firefighting cost.

``Gales were forecast for today so I can't see any sense in why the fire was lit in the first place. There's a few of us out here now, so someone's going to have to pay.''

He said the blaze comes at the start of an annual period of heightened risk of rural grass and vegetation fires in the region.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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