Residents in Craggy Range Road and Lopez Lane have been allowed back home tonight but the roads are only open for people who live on them and firefighting vehicles.
The Waimarama fire, which has been burning since Monday, has destroyed one home and 165 hectares of grassland and pine plantation. As at 5.30pm today, the fires are considered to be contained however they are being monitored closely. A Hastings Civil Emergency status remains in force.
Residents in Craggy Range Rd and Lopez Ln were pleased to be able to return to their homes today. But for safety reasons the two roads are likely to be closed for three days to enable fire trucks free access without having to worry about “rubberneckers”, said Hastings District Council incident controller Alison Banks.
“There is still a lot of work to be done dampening down hot spots, and we need to make sure that fire engines and other heavy machinery has free access to the fire site.”
Nine crews and helicopters worked on the fire today and late this afternoon fire fighters were “comfortable” that they had a defendable space around the fire. Flare ups today were confined to within the 30-metre fire break that had been bulldozed over the last 24 hours. Night crews will remain on site overnight.
Ms Banks said despite this “very good news” residents are urged to remain very vigilant as conditions could change very quickly.
The welfare centre in Havelock North was closed today with people needing help related to the fire asked to call 871 5000.
The Hastings District Rural Fire team has been assisted in its firefighting efforts by fire crews from Taranaki, Auckland, Tararua, Rotorua, Rangetiki and Whangarei and the Pumicelands Rural Fire Authority (Central North Island), fire crews from the Defence Force, the Department of Conservation, the Fire Protection Service and the NZ Fire Service.
The stats: One house and 165 hectares of grassland and pine plantation lost in the Waimarama fire
In the Colin White Rd fire 270 hectares of grassland has been burnt
In the Ripia Stream fire (northeast of Puketitiri) 87 hectares in beech and hardwood scrub has been lost
In the Endsleigh Road fire three hectares has been burnt
4 October 2017
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