Choppers called in to fight Auckland blaze

CARALISE TRAYES
Last updated 19:30 20/02/2013

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Rural firefighters supported by helicopters were tonight battling to control a 65 hectare scrub fire near Tapora, north of Auckland.

Two helicopters and 13 rural fire trucks were working to stop the fire, which had been fanned by an easterly wind, from spreading, Fire Service spokeswoman Megan Ruru said.

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 started at about 11pm last night and was believed to be on Department of Conservation land.

‘‘The fire is burning in two metre 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,’’ another Fire Service spokesman, Jaron Phillips, said earlier.

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

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

‘‘There are some baches North of the fire, but there is no risk to properties as of yet.’’

Tankers were used to take water to fire crews.

Fire investigators look for the cause of the fire after it has been brought under control.

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