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News in briefs, January 13, 2024

Fire Advice

Fire and Emergency NZ are asking people to put down power tools and equipment that generate heat or sparks during this extra dry weather. Lawnmowers, chainsaws, and power tools all have the ability to cause wildfires, a spokesperson said. For more information about the fire danger in your area, you can visit the website checkitsalright.nz.

Fire callouts

The region’s fire emergency crews were kept busy yesterday. The most significant incident was a vegetation fire in Kahutara, requiring assistance from Featherston, Carterton, and Lake Ferry brigades as well as a helicopter. Due to the dense scrub, a spokesperson said the blaze was difficult to access and therefore “tricky” to put out. The helicopter was stood down after 4pm yesterday. The spokesperson said it was not clear how the fire started. Also yesterday afternoon, a small property fire in Greytown confined to a bed required assistance from two appliances from the Greytown and Carterton brigades. The fire was put out and no injuries were reported. Also in Greytown, an unattended rubbish fire was put out by the local brigade at 1.30pm. An hour later in East Taratahi, crew from Carterton and Masterton assisted with a burn-off by dampening down the area. Lastly, at 2.45pm Masterton brigade received reports of a grass fire, but it was out on arrival.

Hill closure

NZTA is advising drivers to avoid driving over the Remutaka Hill on Sunday night due to a planned road closure. SH2’s Remutaka Hill will be closed for scheduled maintenance from 9pm to 4am. The transport agency is urging people to prepare for these closures. Only vehicles that have pre-booked a crossing will be escorted across during the closure.

Algae at
Henley Lake

Tests carried out by Masterton District Council have shown concentrations of cyanobacteria [toxic algae] have increased at Henley Lake. It is recommended that visitors avoid contact with the water, in particular children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Toxic algae can be harmful to humans and fatal to animals if swallowed or via skin contact. Masterton District Council monitors cyanobacteria weekly at Henley Lake during the summer.

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