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Fire brigades respond to six incidents

Fire crews spent King’s Birthday weekend responding to a total of six incidents across the region from Featherston to Woodville.

The first event on Saturday saw a crew from Masterton fire station called to Ngaumutawa Rd in Masterton after a small bush fire was reported.

“Upon arrival, it appeared that it was under control, and we only needed to investigate it,” Masterton station officer Richard King said.

“The call came through at about 5.50pm and we responded with one truck; we were only there for five to 10 minutes.”

The second callout – on Sunday at 11am – was to a vegetation fire at a rural Mikimiki property in Masterton district.

This fire sparked responses from Masterton and Mauriceville stations, although the Mauriceville crew was stood down after arriving at the scene.

“It was some wind that rekindled an old fire, and some sparks ended up hitting some rotten wood, which subsequently caught fire,” Masterton station officer Doug Flowerday said.

“Fires stay alight for some time, and they can spark back up again with high winds; the property owners did the right thing by calling us early.”

Flowerday said Masterton station responded with one truck and one tanker and spent about an hour and a half putting the blaze out, as well as dampening the original fire.

The third incident – at a property on Norfolk Rd in Waingawa in Carterton district – prompted a response from a Masterton station crew on Sunday morning.

King said a small metal garden shed had been destroyed by the wind and broke into “bits and pieces”.

“While there was no fire, we did go to assist in securing the structure, which involved putting heavy objects over the pieces,” King said.

“We arrived at 11.30am with one truck and were only there for 15 minutes; the was no danger to anyone or anything.”

The fourth incident, a fire in the Featherston area, was responded to at 12.15pm on Sunday by a crew from Featherston fire station.

Featherston fire chief Colin McKenna said it turned out to be a small rubbish fire that was “under control”.

“It is an open fire season, and the property owner was well within his rights, and I will say he had a hose nearby and was well prepared,” McKenna said.

“With that being said, if you do have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact 111; we don’t mind getting called.”

The Featherston crew were only at the scene for five minutes.

The fifth incident occurred at a property in Kumeroa, which a crew from Woodville’s fire station responded to at 1.15 p.m.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand [Fenz] spokesperson said it was a small grass fire at a rural property that was put out using water from the one truck that responded, and the job only took 15 minutes to complete.

“There was no risk to anyone or anything with this job,” the spokesperson said.

The final incident – a small truck on fire near the Mauriceville turnoff on Ōpaki Rd SH2 – was on Monday just after 1pm and was responded to by Masterton station.

Station officer Kevin Smith said the crew was only at the scene for 20 minutes.

Smith said the fire was likely caused by the truck overheating – coupled with an oil spill or “just a bit of a lack of maintenance” – which led to some pine needles catching on fire.

It’s understood the driver was safe.

Smith wanted to remind people to maintain their vehicles to avoid situations like these in the future.

The Fenz spokesperson noted that all the events were isolated incidents.

Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie is a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age; originally moving from Christchurch, he is interested in housing stories as well as covering emergencies and crime.

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