You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Hawke's Bay fire evacuation warning

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/02/2017

Residents in rural Hawke's Bay have been told to be prepared to leave their homes again as firefighters keep a close eye on a blaze that's been contained.

Light winds were "extremely helpful" in getting three large fires in the district under control on Tuesday, Hastings District Council says.

The fire at Waimarama had now been contained, it was being closely monitored, says local emergency controller Craig Cameron.

"People living in the areas of the fires are being asked to remain prepared to self-evacuate if necessary."

The Waimarama fire, which has been burning since Monday, destroyed one home and 165 hectares of grassland and pine plantation.

Welfare officers are now working with the family that lost their home.

"Residents may still see smoke from within the fire's perimeter. However, any flare-ups are confined to within the 30m fire breaks the fire services have put in place," the council said.

A Civil Defence state of emergency remained in force.

Winds are expected to shift on Wednesday, potentially changing the situation.

Residents in Craggy Range Road and Lopez Lane were allowed back home on Tuesday, but the roads will be open only for residents and firefighting vehicles for the next three days.

Nine crews and helicopters worked on the fire on Tuesday and by late afternoon firefighters were "comfortable" they had a defendable space around it.

A helicopter and ground crews are also keeping a close eye on a separate fire at the Ripia Stream in the Puketitiri area, and a third blaze, at Colin White Road, has also been contained, with teams still in attendance.

"Rubberneckers" were still getting in the way of firefighters, particularly around Waimarama, Mr Cameron said

A total fire ban was also in place across the district on Wednesday.

"People are still flouting the fire ban: two small garden rubbish fires were extinguished [on Tuesday], Mr Cameron said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon