The Wairarapa and Greater Wellington's Leading Commercial Helicopter Operator

AHNZL help fight forest fire

A BUSH fire at Waiohine Gorge on Monday is a bad omen for summer, Wairarapa principal rural fire officer Phil Wishnowsky said yesterday, in a year of low rainfall where the Fire Service did not have an off-season. An estimated 2ha of corsica pine was destroyed by a fire which began in scrub on Department of Conservation land yesterday afternoon.

Fifteen Carterton firefighters battled for four hours from 4pm, getting the blaze under control with the help of a helicopter and monsoon bucket, and staff from the Department of Conservation and forestry group PF Olsen worked into the night dampening down hotspots.

Carterton fire chief Wayne Robinson said three fire trucks were sent to the fire. One pumped water from the Waiohine River about 500m from the fire, and the others ferried the water to the fire site, where firefighters used their hoses to fill the helicopter monsoon bucket. Mr Wishnowsky said the fire started in lush green grass but was fanned by a steady wind and there was enough “old, dead fuel” around to keep it going.

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