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Firefighters battle blazes as dry conditions persist

Tuesday 7 March 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Local, National


Firefighters battle blazes as dry conditions persist
Firefighters douse an unattended blaze emanating from a small rubbish fire reported at about 1.30pm on Saturday. 23030723 23030724

Dry conditions are offering firefighters a challenge on Rarotonga with at least two blazes in recent days.

And the message is clear.

Limit the lighting of fires and clearing of sections, or else, don’t leave fires unattended, and have a water supply on hand.

Another small rubbish fire got away on an Arorangi landowner who left the fire unattended about 1.30pm on Saturday.

Windy conditions on top of already dry ground made for a blaze which quickly got out of hand.

Puaikura and Teimurimotia Volunteer Fire Brigades responded.

The blaze was brought under control in about 10 minutes.     

Airport Rescue Fire chief officer Breamnt Kea said the island is experiencing dry conditions, and if people are going to light fires, stay with them and monitor them.

“Make sure they have a water supply close, so they can hose it down themselves,” Kea said.

“We are expecting a dry season, it comes with low water levels so please limit lighting fires and clearing sections.

“People need to be cautious while lighting fires, maybe consider composting instead.”    

Saturday’s blaze followed a similar incident on March 1 when 10 volunteer firefighters were tied up for more than an hour trying to get a blaze under control in Tupapa.

The blaze was described as 160 square metres in size in an open field which was “really dry”.

Two tankers with pumps from Puaikura were assisted by a tanker from Takitumu.