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Tapora fire rages on

Last updated 09:07 21/02/2013

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Three helicopters and crews of firefighters are battling a 65 hectare quick-spreading scrub fire near Tapora.

Ground crews are working with heavy machinery at the northern end of the blaze trying to create a fire break while helicopters are dumping water at the southern flank.

The fire that started at 11pm last night is believed to be on Department of Conservation land, to the right of Okahukura Road.

''The fire is burning in 2m high gorse and pampas grass, scrub and trees. It grew from a 200m by 50m piece of land at a rate of 150m an hour,'' Fire Service Northern Communications Centre manager Jaron Phillips says.

''There are still reasonably light winds there with two helicopters in operation. The fire is still not under control.

''Ground crews have been rotated with both rural fire volunteers and staff are working together.

''There is anywhere between 10 and 13 crew on at any one time,'' Mr Phillips says.

There are no reported injuries and no homes are under threat.

''There are some bachs North of the fire, but there is no risk to properties as of yet.''

Tankers are currently shuttling water to the site.

Fire investigators will find the cause of the fire after it has been brought under control.

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