Topic: Environment

Hastings blaze leaves extensive damage

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Widespread devastation has been left in the wake of several fires that ripped through the Hastings District in Waimarama.

Though the fire has been contained crews continue to dampen hotspots.

More than 130 hectares of countryside has been burnt out in what has been declared as Hawke's Bay worst dry season in 16 years.

"We have contained the fire to a line and we're now just strengthening those fire lines," says firefighter Trevor Bullock.

Eight helicopters have continually filled their monsoon buckets throughout the day from the Tukituki River to aid the work of the dozens of ground crews from around the country.

"They're really lucky today it's overcast the wind has dropped way down so the temperature is low as well and hopefully the choppers are really hitting it," explains Selwyn Cubis, Wellington station officer.

The fire has left a blackened hills everywhere, with one house burnt to the ground and a close call for other houses around the Waimarama Rd area.

"We've got crews from all over the country we've got a huge resource here and there will be more fire starts but it's just the nature of the winds we're getting," says Bullock.

The fire has slowed considerably and Civil Defence has said Craggy Range Road will re-open at 6.30pm tonight, allowing residents to return home.