Helicopters with monsoon buckets join the fight to
extinguish a scrub fire near Hyde on Saturday. Photo by
A fire which threatened a home and destroyed 1500ha of
mainly scrub, tussock and forestry near Hyde over the weekend,
was started by a controlled burn.
The Fire Service was called to a rural property near Hyde at
6pm on Friday, after a fire had threatened a home and the
nearby Blakely Pacific's forest plantation.
Dunedin City Council principal rural fire officer Graeme
Still said at its peak, the large blaze was battled by about 40
rural firefighters, staff from the forestry company and six
helicopters, equipped with monsoon buckets.
One homeowner was asked to "sleep somewhere else", after fire
threatened their property on Friday night, Mr Still said.
He confirmed the fire was started by a controlled burn, and
that could form the subject of an investigation later.
Mr Still estimated the affected area to be about 1500ha of
mainly tussock and scrub, with up to 50ha of a private
forestry block and 25ha of the Blakely's block destroyed in
The area presented few difficulties for firefighters as it
"was relatively straightforward". The fire was brought under
control by Saturday afternoon.
Mr Still said firefighters were expected to remain at the
scene for the next few days tending to hotspots and ensuring
the fire did not reignite.
"We are just digging down all the hotspots, and will be here
for a few more days."
He praised local farmers for their assistance during the