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Burn-off flares up

By Emily Norman

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A burn-off fanned by strong winds flared out of control in rural Masterton over the weekend.

Crews from Masterton, Carterton and Wainuioru fought the Ngatahuna Rd blaze near Stronvar for two hours on Saturday afternoon.

Masterton Fire Service officer Kevin Smith said a farmer had been burning some logging slash and old trees in preparation for planting when strong winds caused the fire to spread.

“The wind direction was good but the wind just picked up, and it got into a couple of big old totara trees and they were fairly near an old farm cottage,” Mr Smith said.

“One of the totara trees was only about 10m away from the cottage, downwind, but there was still concern that the wind would pick up and it would get into the cottage.”

A fire truck from Masterton, an appliance and crew from Wainuioru Fire Force, and the Wairarapa Fire District’s water tanker based in Carterton, controlled the fire.

“The farmer used his own bulldozer to cut a little fire break too,” Mr Smith said.

“[The fire] was an area of probably 200sqm and the only damage it really did was that it caught onto one of the farm fences and damaged a few fence posts.

“Other than that there was no major damage.”

Fire crews dampened surrounding areas and left the “main seed of the fire burning”.

They left the farmer with some of their hose and gear to pump water from the swimming pool, “in case the wind picked up again in the night”.


Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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