Kids light up tree on North Shore

Firefighters arrived at a "spectacular" bush blaze near a Browns Bay school this morning after a large tree was set alight by children.

Flames had engulfed up to 20 feet of the tree in bush next to the Northcross Intermediate School sports field when fire crews were called just before 8.30am.

East Coast Bays fire station officer Nick Penfold said the flames travelled quickly due to the flammable tree sap and the dry foliage.

"It was quite spectacular when we arrived, it had gone way up the tree."

He said the fire had been started by a group of children with lighters who were later apprehended by police.

It is the second incident where children have caused large bush fires on the North Shore, Penfold said.

Last month a  50sqm area of bush and gorse caught fire after children lit a bunch of supermarket pamphlets under a shrub.

"This morning I don't think they realised how quickly it would go up," he added.

"The message there is not to light these stupid fires, not only could they cause huge damage but they could also get burnt themselves."

Auckland Now