2000ha scrub fires covering Ngāi Takoto

By Taroi Black

Firefighters are continuing their fight to contain the northern perimeter of the fire at Waiharara. The smoke has been blowing north, which has led to more heavy machinery, aircraft and ground crew being used.

The fire is still covering over 2000 hectares, with not much change overnight. It has led the Northland Fire & Emergency calling for a temporary ban on fireworks over the Karikari Peninsula, to reduce the risks of wildfire over the raumati/summer season.

It will be up to local government and Ngāi Takoto iwi to decide what happens next.

"Fireworks have the potential to start a devastating fire," Northland Fire & Emergency district manager Wipari Henwood says.

Fire and Emergency wants locals and holiday-makers alike to think about fire risks this summer, to use tools such as checkitsalright.nz to see if there are any restrictions in place and the MetService app here also has quick links to fire season information.

"While we understand visitors and locals alike want to celebrate the holidays and the New Year with a bang, fireworks can potentially start devastating fires.”

Ngāi Takoto iwi spokesperson Craig Hobson says local Wharemaru Marae in Kaimaumau has been working with firefighters overnight to create new tracks to get on top of the fire.

“Our whānau know their whenua (lands), which is helping the firefighters every step of the way to prevent a potential wildfire.”