The Pigeon Valley bush fire that rampaged across the Tasman region in February was one of the biggest blazes in New Zealand's modern history. It covered 2300 hectares and saw thousands flee. While fire officials undergo an operational review, hundreds of internal alerts and 111 calls have been released to the Herald. Kurt Bayer reports on the anatomy of a disaster.


The grass was so dry it was a pale shade of yellow. So when Joel Scott drove past and saw leaping flames, he knew it was bad. Really bad.

He dumped his ute in the middle of the road

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