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Bush blaze 'spectacular'

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 15:50 21/11/2012

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Fire fighters arrived to a "spectacular" bush blaze near a Browns Bay school this morning after a large tree was set alight.

Flames had engulfed up to 20 feet of a tree in bush next to the Northcross Intermediate School sports field when fire crews were called just before 8:30am.

Students and staff were commencing their morning lessons when the fire truck drove across the field to reach the blaze.

East Coast Bays Fire station officer Nick Penfold says the flames had 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 says the fire had been started by a group of kids with lighters who were later apprehended by police.

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

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

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

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

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