Dome Valley burning

CARALISE TRAYES
Last updated 08:28 26/02/2013
Supplied: Tessa Palmer

Saturday footage of the bush fire north of Auckland.

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Firefighters are working around the clock battling flames over more than 150 hectares in Rodney.

The two major fires are at Tapora (85ha) and north of Warkworth (71ha).

Warkworth and Wellsford fire crews have been fighting a big blaze in cut-over forest near Wright Rd in the Dome Valley since Saturday.

Matakana and Mahurangi crews were also involved.

"All four resources came through to the Craig Rd entrance and started an aerial operation that went on overnight with the assistance of three helicopters," Rodney volunteer firefighter support officer Ted Fuller says.

Auckland Rural firefighters arrived to relieve volunteers.

The Dome Valley fire was tackled by 75 firefighters yesterday.

Auckland principal rural fire officer Bryan Cartelle says two helicopters were also in use.

One bulldozer and two diggers were cutting fire breaks.

"Given the steep country it's very hard to get containment lines of any significance," he says.

"We are still a little vulnerable in places but no homes are under threat at all."

But the fire worried some residents who contacted emergency services asking if they should evacuate.

Some called from as far as Omaha, about 10 kilometres from the fire, but were told to stay put.

Target shooters are thought to have caused the fire and made conditions more hazardous by shooting into the inferno as firefighters tried to tackle it, the Stuff website says.

The shooters were later picked up by fire crews and taken out of the area, Stuff says.

Fire investigators are still working on the case.

Wright Rd resident Ian Trotter had a perfect view of the blaze from beside his cowshed and says there was a continuous stream of trucks carting water up and down the road during the weekend.

The fire was some distance from his property but he reckons some lifestyle block owners at the other end of the road would be starting to bite their nails with the northeasterly breeze and dry conditions.

Several water tankers supported the firefighting operation which delayed Matakana area residential water deliveries.

Firefighters remind people a total fire ban applies across the region.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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