It may have looked like a derelict barn, but to Hohepa Orikena it was more of a structural symbol - and it wasn't a barn.

On the fringes of the dunes near the mouth of the Waingongoro Stream just north of Waimarama, the small campsite structure, which was engulfed in a fire early on Sunday night, had been built "for the kids" about 30 years ago.

It hadn't been used for about 15 years, and while still standing, with several macrocarpa-slabbed tabletops inside appearing almost untouched by the flames, he expects to demolish the building.

But Mr Orikena, a former Waimarama firefighting volunteer who lives 2-3km from the site, said at home yesterday he wants to replant the area of tussock and grass which was burnt around the shack after the fire started about 6.30pm on Sunday.


The fire was battled by volunteers from Waimarama and Havelock North, and a Fire Service crew from Hastings, who managed to limit the spread across the grassland on a day on which temperatures in Hawke's Bay soared over 30C, with Hastings posting the second-to-highest in the country at 32.2C.

The high temperatures continued yesterday, with a maximum of 30.6C in Wairoa, Napier and Hastings hitting 28.5C and 29.3C respectively, with other highs of 28.8C on the Takapau Plains and 25.7C in Dannevirke.

Rain, brought about by easterly air flows from what was Tropical Cyclone Victor, is forecast for tomorrow and could threaten the day-night ODI cricket match between the Black Caps and Pakistan at McLean Park, Napier on Thursday.

The rain, which tomorrow could be heavy in some parts of Hawke's Bay, had earlier been forecast to stretch through to Saturday and Sunday.

The match on Thursday is scheduled to start at 2pm, and a MetService forecaster said yesterday the rain could ease off, and allow for a fine weekend to finish the school holidays.