Don Spiers has grown used to people dumping rubbish on the side of the road near his kiwifruit farm.

But he got the fright of his life when a pile of trash — dumped and set on fire by offenders — spread to his row of trees on Sing Rd.

Don planted hundreds of cryptomerias about 30 years ago as a windbreak for kiwifruit.

At about 10pm on Tuesday he was alerted to the fire by neighbours and rushed to the scene.


A stretch of trees spanning 80m went up in flames — and the fire was quickly spreading.
"It was spectacular — the flames were moving in both directions," Don says.

"The brigade couldn't put out the trees until the power was turned off, so we all just stood there watching the fire grow."

Firefighters doused around 40 trees, now just charred remains.

Don is sure the burnt trees are destroyed, but is thankful the kiwifruit was untouched.

He's starting to plant new cryptomerias, but says it will take around 15-20 years for them to grow to full height.