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School farm fire

A fire engine departs after extinguishing the fire at Masterton Intermediate School. PHOTOS/TOM TAYLOR

TOM TAYLOR
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A fire at Masterton Intermediate School on Friday threatened the safety of animals on the school’s farm.

A pile of scrub was set alight at Masterton Intermediate School’s farm on Friday.

The fire started when a pile of scrub and branches within the farm was set alight at about 5pm on Friday. Flames spread to the fence bordering the school’s wetland area and scorched the earth.

Principal Russell Thompson said the fire had been out of control before the fire brigade had arrived.

“I have to say, the fire brigade did a fantastic job,” Thompson said.

The brigade extinguished the fire by about 5.40pm.

A path around the farm had been cleared to make way for a bike track that would link with the bike track on school grounds. Scrub and branches from the cleared path had been placed in a large cylindrical container. The school had intended to burn the vegetation in winter when the fire ban was lifted, Thompson said.

The 3.6ha farm was home to a flock of sheep, chickens, and a pig.

Thompson said he was sure whoever had lit the fire would have been upset if the fire had injured any of the farm animals.

Police were notified of the fire once it had been extinguished.

An investigation was under way. No arrests had yet been made.

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