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New Zealand's big bushfires

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/02/2017

SOME OF NEW ZEALAND'S BIGGER AND MORE DEADLY BUSHFIRES

* March 1918 - The "Raetihi Conflagration" bush fire in the central North Island claimed the lives of three family members and more than 150 buildings plus nine sawmills were destroyed

* February 1946 - A cigarette butt is thought to have started a fire on the Wairakei-Oruanui Road near Taupo. It managed to cross the Waikato River and threaten Taupo itself. It eventually burned through tens of thousands of hectares and forced a law change which allowed adequate provision for rural fire control

* February 1983 - A farm burnoff at Ohinewairua Station, near Waiouru, went out of control and burned through about 15,000ha of tussock and beech forest.

* December 2000 - The Boxing Day Wither Hills fire, near Blenheim, tore through more than 6000ha, damaging 29 properties. It took nearly three months to extinguish

* November 2011 - A helicopter pilot and his passenger were killed when trying to rescue people trapped by a fire at Karikari Beach in Northland. The deliberately lit fire burned through 130ha of scrub

February 2107 - A fire in Christchurch's Port Hills burns through more than 2000ha, destroying at least 11 houses, and a helicopter pilot helping fight the blaze is killed in a crash.

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