Large ground crew fighting Matakana fire

Efforts to strengthen the containment lines at the Wright Road fire in Matakana continue today.

A team of 75 ground crew, supported by three helicopters, two diggers and one bulldozer, are fighting the fire, which has been burning since Saturday night.

Bryan Cartelle, Principal Rural Fire Officer, says the priority is the containment lines, which are being built by the crew using heavy machinery.

“Last night a small area of flames escaped the containment lines; however the helicopters were able to stop any further spread this morning.

“We have a large presence on the ground today all working to get the containment lines as strong as possible before dark,” he says.

The fire covers approximately 70 hectares of forest and scrub across the Dome Valley area. No properties are under threat.

Weather conditions in Matakana are fine and dry with an easterly of 10km/h increasing to 20km/h this afternoon.

“The forecast is hot and dry, so I again would remind everyone that there is a complete fire ban. Everyone needs to do their part, which is simple stuff – no open flames and don’t take risks. A spark can start a fire,” he says.

An investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the fire.

This is the second fire to strike the area this week, the first, west of Wellsford in Tapora, is contained but still active, and crew remain on site.

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