18 Dec 2008

Far North scrub fire suspicious

5:41 pm on 18 December 2008

A scrub fire in the Far North is likely to have been deliberately lit, says the Rural Fire Service.

The blaze at Te Hapua began about 2.30pm on Wednesday, and at one stage threatened houses.

The fire, fanned by a 20 knot wind, covered about 50 hectares along a front of about 400 metres.

Northland Fire Region support officer Colin Kitchen said the fire was being treated as suspicious as it is likely to have been deliberately lit.

Helicopters with monsoon buckets waterbombed the blaze and a bulldozer and crews in six rural fire engines also tackled the fire.

Two homes in the Te Paki reserve area near Cape Reinga were evacuated.

Kapiti Coast fire

Separately, firefighters are trying to put out a blaze involving a house and packing a shed on the Kapiti Coast.

Seven fire engines are at the rural property, in Te Horo, near Otaki.

It is believed the packing shed houses insectide products.

The cause of the blaze, which started at the house and spread to the packing shed, is not yet known. No one has been injured.