Hedgerow burns

The Northland Age - - Local News - By Pe­ter de Graaf

Crews from three bri­gades and a ru­ral fire force spent more than four hours fight­ing a ma­jor veg­e­ta­tion fire out­side Kerik­eri on Thurs­day. The blaze was be­lieved to have started at around 4.40pm, when a fire lit by tree con­trac­tors jumped into a hedgerow on Orange­wood Rd, high winds quickly driv­ing the flames through the crowns of the trees and blow­ing em­bers into a sec­ond row of trees on the other side of the or­chard. Kerik­eri’s Chief Fire Of­fi­cer, Les Was­son, said about 90m of hedgerow was in­volved, with ap­pli­ances and tankers from Kerik­eri, O¯ kai­hau and Kawakawa, and Kaikohe-based Ru­ral Fire, re­spond­ing. A dig­ger was used to pull down trees to stop the flames spread­ing fur­ther. Seven peo­ple, in­clud­ing two chil­dren on their way to school, were in­jured in a two-car crash on the in­ter­sec­tion of Taupo Bay Rd and State High­way 10, south of Man­gonui yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The ac­ci­dent, at about 8.40am, in­volved a Subaru Legacy sta­tion­wagon turn­ing right out of Taupo Bay Rd and a Nis­san El­grand van trav­el­ling south on SH10.

The Subaru, which was on its way to nearby Oru­aiti School, was car­ry­ing three adults and two chil­dren. The two peo­ple in the van were head­ing to Auck­land.

A child aged about 10 and a grand­mother in the Subaru were flown to Whanga¯rei Hos­pi­tal by res­cue he­li­copter, which landed on the sports field at Oru­aiti School, with se­ri­ous in­juries. Two pa­tients were trans­ported to Whanga¯rei by am­bu­lance and three to Kaitaia Hos­pi­tal.

At least one per­son in the Subaru had to be cut out of the wreck­age by Man­gonui fire­fight­ers.

Con­sta­ble Brett Walford, who said all seven had been wear­ing seat­belts, thanked mem­bers of the pub­lic who as­sisted, in­clud­ing a doc­tor and nurse who were aboard a pass­ing bus, and fam­ily mem­bers of the in­jured from Taupo Bay, who also pro­vided a trac­tor to clear wreck­age from the north­bound lane.

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