High winds add to fire emer­gency

CHB Mail - - News -

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.

PHO­TOS/PAUL TAY­LOR

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.

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