Fire precautions urged after forecast for high winds

Farmers have been urged to be extra cautious after an old fire reignited and consumed about 4ha of gorse and scrub in Livingstone on Tuesday.

Although the cause of the fire was still being investigated, Waitaki Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer Mike Harrison said that as strong winds forecast this weekend, it was a timely opportunity to remind people to check fires were fully extinguished.

Firefighters from Kurow, Duntroon and the Waitaki Volunteer Rural Fire Force were called to the fire in the Pringles Gully Rd area at 4.30pm on Tuesday.

It burnt through about 4ha of mainly gorse and scrub, but did not threaten any homes or other structures. It had been brought under control by 7.30pm on Tuesday, but ground crews stayed at the scene until nightfall.

"The terrain was quite rough.

"We had four helicopters operating and later on went down to two helicopters which assisted the ground crews in the mop-up," he said.

Mr Harrison praised fire crews and helicopter pilots for their "excellent work" in strong winds.

One crew returned to monitor the scene and mop up yesterday.

"There are still some hot spots, but they’re well within the burnt out area, so we’re not too concerned about those," he said.

"We have left it in the hands of the landowner and will have a crew return there on Saturday for a final inspection."

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