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Waikato farmers urged to check and extinguish old fires

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Waikato farmers are being asked to check any old smouldering rubbish and land clearance fires to ensure they are out, given extreme fire danger forecast across the district over the next few days.

Fire and Emergency District Manager Daryl Trim says people should check the sites of old fires and make sure they are fully extinguished.

"Attendance at these wildfires is putting an unnecessary strain on our firefighting resources," Mr Trim says, noting the Waikato District, including the Coromandel, is in a prohibited fire season.

"Yesterday our fire brigades were fully stretched attending a fire caused by a rubbish fire pit at lake Karapiro which required a helicopter plus Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Pirongia and Hamilton Ops Fire brigades.

"The second fire at Pokuru near Te Awamutu, was started by two separate old rubbish fires, which ended up burning four hectares of grass, with the responding brigades saving a house, aided by a wind shift."

A fire appliance responding to one of the fires this week was unable to access the property because of overhanging branches on the driveway. Mr Trim reminds all property owners that a fire truck needs a minimum 4 x 4m clearance to access a driveway.

"Unfortunately, if we can’t access your farm drive, our help will be delayed or limited."

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