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Quick work contains second fire at Awarua

Monday 11 April 2022, 1:31AM

By Fire and Emergency New Zealand

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Helicopter supporting ground crews to extinguish hotspots at the Tiwai Road fire, Awarua, this morning.
Helicopter supporting ground crews to extinguish hotspots at the Tiwai Road fire, Awarua, this morning. Credit: Fire and Emergency New Zealand

INVERCARGILL


Quick work from Invercargill and Tiwai Point fire crews saved a second significant fire from merging with the nearby Awarua Bay fire this morning (Sunday).

A car fire under a transmission line power pylon on the Tiwai Road had spread to dense manuka scrub and was moving quickly when crews arrived about 5.45am.

Incident Controller David Coveney said the crews were able to get around the flanks of the fire and pinch it off, preventing it from escaping and joining up with the fire at Awarua Bay, which is less than 10km away to the north.

They confined the fire to an area of about one hectare, where a crew from the Hedgehope Volunteer Fire Brigade, a Department of Conservation Crew and a helicopter are working to extinguish remaining hotspots today.

"The crews made a great save this morning. This was a big fire - the glow was visible from Invercargill," Mr Coveney said. "We need to ensure that it is fully out because the fire danger in the area remains extreme."

He said that if this morning’s fire had not been contained quickly, it would have ravaged 2000 hectares of public conservation land.

While temperatures in the area are low today, the wind is blustery and vegetation is dry.

A fire investigation is underway.