More information needed on suspicious fire

Fire investigators are calling for more information about a fire which swept through 5ha of bush at Ahipara, forcing the evacuation of homes and destroying a bach and a shed. Northland principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor said the Ahipara community had been providing good leads as to the identity of the fire-starter but more was needed. He urged anyone with information to call him on 09 401 0723 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. The fire started at 1.30am on Friday and took more than six hours to bring under control.

Horeke hotspots still burning

A fire at Horeke — Northland's biggest so far this summer — is still not out with firefighters carrying out regular patrols to dampen down hotspots. The blaze, which started on Giles Rd on January 25 covered 65ha of scrub and pine plantation. Northland principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor said 100mm of rain would be needed before it could be declared officially extinguished. The point of ignition has been identified but not the person who lit it.

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Electrical fault likely cause

A fire in a garage attached to a Landcorp house at Rangiputa yesterday was given no chance to get away. Senior Station Officer Colin Kitchen, of Kaitaia brigade, said the occupant had the situation under control by the time appliances from Karikari, Kaitaia and Mangonui arrived, firefighters removing part of the roof and using a thermal imaging camera to ensure it would not re-ignite. Kitchen suspected an electrical fault as the cause of the fire, but the garage was to be inspected by an investigator.

Quake rocks north

Another earthquake has rocked the Northland region with a shake measuring 4.1 magnitude. It was felt by residents on the Tutukaka Coast and as far north as Russell about 7.50pm on Sunday. The depth was measured at 12km and was located 55km east of Whangarei. Tutukaka Coast resident Will Trusewich said it was a prolonged earthquake. "A good steady shake for something like 15-20 seconds. Beats all the others so far," he said.

Drugs found in police stop

Cannabis, deal bags and scales were found in a stolen car stopped by police in Kaitaia last week. A man was charged with their possession, and breaching his curfew at an Auckland address, but police were still looking for two people who disappeared, and are believed to be responsible for taking the vehicle. One of the occupants of another car that was stopped by police in an unrelated incident has been charged with possession of four point bags of methamphetamine and a set of scales. The $150 found in the vehicle was also seized.

Education Ministry moves

The Ministry of Education in Kaitaia has moved into its new offices, on the corner of Commerce St and Redan Rd, and on Friday it will open the doors to everyone who would like to see inside. The aim of the open day, from 10am to 3pm, was to connect with the local community by displaying the new building's public space, to tell them about what the ministry does, and to celebrate Far North talent, a ministry spokesperson said. There would be plenty see and do with three stars from Far North's Got Talent performing throughout the day, along with Tihei Harawira, who would be freestyle rapping about education, leadership, and preparing for life with education, whānau and community.