Smoke sparks fears of underground fire

SARAH-JANE O'CONNOR
Last updated 17:09 18/08/2014
Smoke on Denniston Plateau
Forest and Bird
DENNISTON PLATEAU: Forest and Bird staff have photographed smoke coming out of several cracks above a historic mine shaft.

Relevant offers

Smoke rising from cracks on the Denniston Plateau has Forest and Bird concerned that one or more underground coal fires have broken out.

But the mining company working on the plateau says the smoke is normal for coal mines.

Forest and Bird top of the south field officer Debs Martin said staff had visited the site and photographed smoke coming out of several cracks above a historic mine shaft.

Martin said the site was close to where Bathurst Resources had drilled core samples.

Bathurst's managing director Hamish Bohannan said the Denniston Plateau had smoldering in old workings "in a number of different areas".

Particularly on cold days "we'll get little vents of steam, maybe a bit of smoke".

He said the visible smoke was nothing out of the ordinary and was not related to the company's current activities in the area.

Bathurst was given permission by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to open-cast mine on the Plateau in June. The company started preparatory work on the West Coast site last month.

Martin said there was "too much of a coincidence". "There's little doubt this is linked to Bathurst's mining activities."

She said DOC should stop Bathurst's preparatory mining work until the fire or fires were extinguished.

"All efforts should now go into stopping the whole coal seam from catching alight. A major underground fire could seriously affect the unique trees and wildlife beyond the area that Bathurst has permission to mine," she said.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should doctors and patients be friends on Facebook?

Yes, it helps create a trusting relationship

Sure, I don't see why not

Probably not in most cases

Definitely not, it's very unprofessional

Vote Result

Related story: Doctors struggle to maintain boundaries

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Contact Us Press

• Newsroom 03-943 2827 or email reporters@press.co.nz
• Classified Ads: 03-3778778 or email goclassifieds@press.co.nz
• Display and Online Ads: 03-3648285 or email ad.sales@press.co.nz
• General inquiries: 03 379 0940
Subscribe to The Press
• Deliveries, subscriptions, holiday stop/starts: 03 364 8464, or email: news.sales@press.co.nz
• No paper or holiday stop/starts: action online
• Buy a photo
• Newspaper subscribers - register for the digital edition
• Make press.co.nz your homepage

Press supplements

At Home, I Do, Avenues, Winter Style

Read Press extras for Avenues, fashion, home design and weddings

Celebrations

Celebrations

Births, weddings, engagements

Death notices

Death notices

Death notices and in memoriam