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A 45ha pine forest fire on Lake Road started in the Manawatū Tangimoana area since early this morning and firefighters have been battling it all day.
The fire is reportedly 90 per cent contained, but the centre is still burning.
thisquality understands that the fire will not be fully extinguished by the end of the day.
Six helicopters, including 50 personnel, firefighters and heavy machinery operators worked to contain it from spreading further — the number of helicopters was reduced at around 3:30 pm.
Fire and Emergency said in a statement to thisquality that crews would be on the scene for a couple of days to create blackout lines around the perimeter.
“These are areas 10m completely around the fire perimeter where it is has been completely extinguished,” read the statement.
Incident Controller Bradley Shanks said that the fire increased a bit when they arrived this morning.
“It had increased a bit, so we were looking at around forty hectares this morning and as the day has gone on our heavy machinery and ground crews supported by helicopters have been able to contain it ninety per cent to roughly forty–forty-five hectares,” said Bradley Shanks.
“We want to make sure we contain the fire to a hundred per cent today, and then it will be just a matter of getting ground crews in support by helicopters and heavy machinery to extinguish the fire as much as we can over the coming days.”
From Saturday through to Sunday there will be more fire crews on the ground to continue extinguishing the fire.
“We’ve basically got firefighters from across the lower north island here assisting us,” said Bradley Shanks.
“The fire, in general, is at that stage where we are thinking is a really good position.”
“We are really impressed with the way the crews, machine operators, and aircraft operators have really performed today to do as much work as they have.”
A helicopter can be seen from a distance on Lake Road. It was flying above the landing zone where Fire and Emergency units were camped.
More to come soon…
Image/Video: CC/ Sam Hudson
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