Fire on southern coast under control

Sunday 16 January 2011, 3:54PM
By Southland District Council


Fire crews have several fires under control around the area of a fire which destroyed part of Rarakau Lodge near Tuatapere on Saturday night.

Southern Rural Fire Authority deputy principal rural fire officer Elton Smith said three helicopters, three tankers and six ground crews are working on keeping multiple fires under control at the end of the Papatotara Coast Road, about 6km from Tuatapere, this morning.

The fires originated from last night’s fire which destroyed a building at Rarakau Lodge, the accommodation from which many people start the Hump Ridge Track.
A car at the car park for the track was also destroyed and about 12 others damaged by heat and fire. A shed and tractor were also damaged by the fire.
Mr Smith said trampers on the track had been asked to stay put for the day, not because they were in any danger from the fire, but because of the work being carried out by firefighters to prevent further spread of the fire.
Trampers are not allowed to enter the track today because of that work.

“The fire is still burning from yesterday and will continue to burn for a few days. It is contained at the moment and fire crews are making it as safe as possible to protect further property,” Mr Smith said.

The fire was reported about 6.30pm last night and the cause and the origin are under investigation.
It is estimated about 50 hectares has been damaged.