Two major scrub blazes fuel officer’s fears
Northland’s Principal Rural Fire officer, Myles Taylor, is considering imposing a total fire ban across the region after two major scrub blazes racked up a six-figure bill.
Rubbish fires were also being lit on a regular basis, without permits, particularly in the Far North, despite the restricted fire season that took effect on December 1, Mr Taylor said last week.
Tuesday night’s scrub fire at Taipa Point, where two helicopters supported ground crews, cost around $20,000 to extinguish, while an earlier blaze south of Kaikohe, which burned for four days, cost around $200,000. Four helicopters, two bulldozers and 25 rural firefighters battled that fire.
Crews from Kaikohe returned to the scene last week, and were expected to continue monitoring it until there was significant rain.
Mr Taylor said a total fire ban was being considered because most calls were to unattended rubbish fires in the middle of the day, when temperatures were at their highest.
“If people don’t take responsibility for their actions, then we’ll close the fire season by declaring a ban,” he said.