Firefighters continue to battle blaze

Last updated 16:11 25/02/2013
Supplied: Tessa Palmer

Saturday footage of the bush fire north of Auckland.

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More than 70 firefighters are battling to contain a forest fire near Matakana which began over the weekend.

A team of 75 ground crew, supported by three helicopters, two diggers and one bulldozer, are fighting the Wright Rd fire, which has been burning since Saturday night.

The fire covers about 70 hectares of forest and scrub in the Dome Valley area. No properties have been threatened.

Principal rural fire officer Bryan Cartelle said the priority was to build containment lines using heavy machinery.

"Last night a small area of flames escaped the containment lines; however the helicopters were able to stop any further spread this morning," he said.

"We have a large presence on the ground today all working to get the containment lines as strong as possible before dark." 

Weather conditions in Matakana are fine and dry with an easterly of 10km/h increasing to 20km/h this afternoon.

"The forecast is hot and dry, so I again would remind everyone that there is a complete fire ban. Everyone needs to do their part, which is simple stuff – no open flames and don't take risks. A spark can start a fire," he added.

An investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the blaze. It is thought skeet shooters in the area may have started it.

This is the second fire to strike the area in the past week. The first, west of Wellsford in Tapora, is contained but still active, and crew remain on site.

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