Fire in Hunua Ranges contained

Firefighters have contained the scrub fire which closed Hunua Rd this morning and it has reopened.

They are now working to dampen down the remaining hotspots, a fire communications spokeswoman says.

The fire has been deemed suspicious and investigations are underway, she says.

The fire service was alerted to a tree fire in the Hunua Gorge at 5.15am.

Access to the sheer cliff face was limited and eight fire crews were dispatched to contain the fire before it spread into the Hunua Ranges.

The fire caused minor rock slides and threatened the stability of the rock face.

But an Auckland Transport spokesman said a geotechnical expert had been called in and has declared the area safe.
Auckland Council spokesman Glyn Walters said the fire has about the size of half a football field.

He says people need to be extra cautious in the current climate if they are using equipment that generates heat or even discarding cigarettes. ''It is very dry out there and people need to be extra cautious.

''That's a message we are going to be putting out over the next couple of weeks because there is no sign of rain.''