22 Apr 2010

Far North scrub fire believed suspicious

2:36 pm on 22 April 2010

Firefighters believe a scrub fire in the Far North was deliberately lit.

Ten fire brigades and a helicopter worked overnight to control the blaze, which has burned about 70 hectares of cutover pine scrub, at the tip of the Karikari peninsula.

Chief rural fire officer Lance Johnston says such fires do not start themselves and it appears to be a case of arson.

The fire is still burning, but Mr Johnston says there is no property in the area, and the plan is to let the fire burn itself out over the next 24 hours.

A bulldozer and grader are widening the firebreaks.

The fire is about 5km from a popular Department of Conservation camping ground at Maitai Bay.