Grass fire threatens hills

Memories of boxing day 2001

Last updated 17:45 29/11/2012
Grass fire
Derek Flynn

Fire fighters tackle a grass fire behind the Dry Hills estate

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Firefighters rushed to a grass fire that threatened to spread up the Wither Hills near Blenheim, echoing the devastating fires a decade ago.
Dry grasses caught fire spectacularly at the back of an exclusive housing subdivision, Dry Hills Estate, next to the Wither Hills near Blenheim, sparking fears that the hills could go up.
A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said the fire ‘‘just went up like a wick’’.
‘‘With these sorts of grass, it’s like a wick of a firecracker.’’
The fire came within 100 metres of a house, and firefighters said the cause of the fire was not yet known.
Two rural fire tankers, two appliances from Blenheim’s Volunteer Fire Service, a helicopter, and 20 people fought the fire, which burnt for about half an hour. 
A Marlborough Express reporter on the scene said the fire was noisy, and its spread was loud, the grass was making a crackling sound.
Marlborough has been hot and dry for the past three weeks, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees at times. The Wither Hills had dried out noticably, changing colour from a pale green to a scorched tan colour.

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- The Marlborough Express

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