High winds add to fire emergency
Fire services from a wide area battled a fire which crossed and all-but closed the main road between Waipukurau and coastal Porangahau in Central Hawke’s Bay on Sunday.
One of more than a dozen emergencies answered by Fire and Emergency NZ in the region since mid-morning yesterday, the vegetation fire was reported between Old Hill Rd and Blackhead Rd, off Porangahau Rd, just after 4pm.
About 7.15pm a spokesperson for the national fire service said 15 appliances were at the scene with two more on the way.
Conditions were too windy for the use of helicopters.
Appliances were from as far as 60-70km in Hastings and an incident support vehicle from Napier were involved in fighting the fire which one person in the area said may have started in forestry slash as high winds continued in the area.
Porangahau fisherman Richard Kibblewhite said he’d been travelling from Waipukurau to Porangahau when he was told to detour, with ash having crossed the road and spread the fire.
“They said we wouldn’t be able to get through, there’s a lot of machinery up there,” he said.
The fire service spokesperson said, however, the road was not closed.
Emergencies in Hawke’s Bay included a Saturday night scrub fire on Te Mata peak, east of Havelock North.
Fire crews from as far as Napier attended a grass and scrub fire at Porangahau in Central Hawke’s Bay on Sunday.
High winds are thought to have fanned a week-old burnoff back into life.