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Waimarama Rd fire; 6.30pm update

Homes in the Craggy Range Rd area have been evacuated as the fire in Waimarama Rd changes direction involving 37 people from 20 houses.

All the evacuees have elected to stay with friends or relatives

About 23 homes on the Waimarama side of the fire evacuated earlier in the day will be allowed to return to their home from 6pm.

The road into Waimarama has just been opened (6pm) but Craggy Range is now closed (from the corner of Tukituki and Craggy Range Rd) until further notice.

Power is still off to the area, which includes Ocean Beach, Maraetotara and Waimamara. However a generator is on its way to backup the water supply pumping systems.

It may be that cell phone coverage is lost in the next little while. The cell phone towers have almost run out of back up power and are in the centre of the fire area. The teams are working on getting generators to them but have to wait until the situation is safe.

Over the day fire fighting resources have included five helicopters; 40 rural firefighters and more than 20 NZ Fire Service fire fighters. They are taking water from natural water bodies in the area and trucking water in.

 Heavy machinery includes bulldozers, tractors, graders and water tankers.

Overnight fire crews will monitor the fire and concentrate on structure protection; damping down areas around buildings that may be at risk. A balance has to be struck between keeping the fire contained and keeping our firefighters safe in what will be challenging conditions, said incident controller Alison Banks.

We encourage residents to remain vigilant and keep an eye on Hastings District Council Facebook page, HB Emergency websites and/or your local radio station.

4 October 2017

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