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New Zealand

Firefighters battle blazes in Dunedin, Palmerston North

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 8/11/2019
© RNZ / Richard Tindiller

A scrub fire north of Dunedin has grown from overnight, and more crews are on the way to fight it.

The felled-pine fire at Bucklands Crossing at Waikouaiti began yesterday after a burn-off from six weeks ago flared up again in high winds.

It grew to cover 16 hectares overnight.

Fire and Emergency shift manager Mau Barbara said crews monitored the blaze overnight, and were back this morning to put it out.

"We got around about 20 personnel responding this morning to do a mop-up job. It's deep-seated and the fire crews have to use hand tools to basically dig up the fire and extinguish it.

Mr Barbara said helicopters were not required to help tackle the blaze at this stage.

Dunedin City Council asked residents in Waikouaiti and Karitane to avoid using garden hoses and sprinklers over the next few days due to the fire.

Fire and Emergency said a nearby pine plantation of about 20ha was not at risk.

Road closed after Palmerston North fire

Meanwhile Fitzherbert East Road, on State Highway 57 in Palmerston North, will remain closed between Pahiatua Aokautere Road and SH3 until midday today following a large scrub fire yesterday.

Fire and Emergency was called just before 3pm and the fire was extinguished by 7pm.

Police said a number of trees were unstable as a result, and posed a safety risk.

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