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Hectares of olives up in smoke

Nine hectares of olive trees and grazing alongside the Tuki Tuki Road were lost to fire yesterday.

The blaze was yet another warning that every care needs to be taken with fire as the region continues to turn tinder dry, said Eastern Regional Rural Fire Committee chairman Trevor Mitchell.

The speed of the fire spread astonished the property owners with the blaze spreading over 250m in less than five minutes, he said.

It took fire crews from Havelock North, Maraetotara, Haumoana, and Hastings with a helicopter one-and-a-half hours to bring the fire under control and four hours to put out.

The cause is still under investigation.

“This demonstrates how dry conditions are and that people need to be very vigilant.”

It was one of a number of fires crews have had to attend to this week, including an abandoned bonfire in a freedom camping area in Waimarama and a rubbish fire that got out of control in Te Onepu Road.

All fires except cooking fires in urban areas need a permit at the moment. Permit requests should be lodged with your local fire authority or Council.

The public is being asked to report any unattended or dangerous fire by calling 111 immediately.

4 October 2017

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