Controlled burns go wrong

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 07:17 29/10/2012

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Two controlled fires at vineyards in Marlborough got out of control on Friday afternoon, resulting in minor damage.

Renwick volunteer firefighters were called to a vineyard on Bedford Rd just after 3pm.

Renwick senior station officer Grant Flynn said one appliance attended the blaze, a burn-off on a private road.

The property owners were attempting to tidy up the grass around the edge of a creek when a small fire about 20 metres by 20m got out of control, Mr Flynn said.

Firefighters were at the scene for about 30 minutes.

Chief fire officer Murray Neal said there was little damage thanks to the quick actions of the person administering the burn.

"It's always good when people realise that they're having trouble so we can deal with it pretty quickly - it's a lot easier to deal with a small fire than a huge one," Mr Neal said.

Windy weather was likely to have caused the fire to flare up; early in the morning, when there was less wind and the weather was a lot calmer, was the best time for a controlled burn, he said.

Dried out grass from the warmer, drier weather over the coming months also posed an increased risk of fire.

Mr Neal recommended that people keep a constant eye on the weather.

Earlier that afternoon, Seddon volunteer firefighters were called to a vegetation fire on Redwood Pass Rd, between Seddon and Lower Dashwood.

Seddon chief fire officer Kieron Hebberd said firefighters were alerted to the fire just before 1.30pm. An appliance from Seddon and two Marlborough rural tankers attended the blaze, which took about an hour to put out.

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- The Marlborough Express

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