Fire sparks burn-off warning

A shelter belt fire in Hawke's Bay has triggered a Fire Service warning for people to be vigilant about fire safety in the drier summer months.

About 25 firefighters battled the blaze in Twyford for more than two hours yesterday, after a callout at 2.30pm.

Rural, Hastings and Napier crews attended with four appliances and three tankers.

Hastings Senior Station Officer Darren Clark said the pine tree belt was not completely "involved" all the way through but the pine needles underneath the trees were particularly dry.

Although they were not certain how the fire started, a burn-off could have been its cause.

"It may have started from a burn-off, a burn-off that's been going for a while.

"These things can still keep burning for a couple of months and then all of a sudden spread."

He stressed the need for such burn-offs to be monitored.

"Some of these fires can burn and keep lots of heat for weeks and weeks.

"A hot day or a bit of wind and it can flare up again.

"Things are actually getting quite dry out there now. Dry grass and trees and the risk of fire spread [is getting greater]."

- Hawke's Bay Today

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