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Group effort stops fire

Friday February 26, 2016 Written by Published in Outer Islands
Residents of Mangaia work to put out the fire. 16022501 Residents of Mangaia work to put out the fire. 16022501

A bush fire lit up about 350 hectares of land on the Rangimotia hill on Wednesday of last week, destroying valuable pine and acacia trees on the island of Mangaia.


Mangaia resident Anthony Whyte says the fire first began late on Saturday afternoon in the village of Ivirua and was thought to have died out.

But unfortunately the blaze slowly reignited on Sunday and grew into the early hours of Monday morning, causing serious damage.

Members of the public along with the island administration staff and volunteers rallied together with whatever available resources they could find, and after several hours of trying to defuse the situation, the fire was finally brought under control, says Whyte.

“Fortunately no-one was injured and from what we can gather, no livestock has been affected either.

 “Since the fire, we have all been working hard to create fire breaks on the land, and we have spent time clearing portions of bush to eliminate the possibility of another bush fire.”

Police are still investigating into the cause of the fire and say anyone with information should contact Aerenga Matapo or make yourself known at the Mangaia Island administration office.

The people of Mangaia would like to thank the Mangaian police department, Aerenga Matapo, the island administration staff and volunteers and residents who helped keep the fire under control.