Winds fan burn-off to spread wrong way

Thick smoke blanketed a section of Beach Rd in Oamaru yesterday after a burn-off fanned by strong winds got out of control.

Appliances from the Oamaru Volunteer Fire Brigade and Weston Volunteer Fire Brigade were called to the scene about 4.30pm after Fire and Emergency New Zealand received calls about the blaze on an area of farmland near the North Otago Golf Club.

They were later joined by a crew from the Waitaki Rural Volunteer Fire Force, who took control of the scene after the blaze was subdued.

A firefighter battles an out-of-control burn-off in Beach Rd in Oamaru yesterday. Photo: Daniel Birchfield
A firefighter battles an out-of-control burn-off in Beach Rd in Oamaru yesterday. Photo: Daniel Birchfield
About six firefighters battled the fire, which scorched a roughly 50m to 60m-long stretch of a grassed bank bordering the road.

Earlier, thick, grey smoke made visibility difficult and as a result, a small section of the road was closed to traffic so firefighters could tackle the fire from more than one vantage point.

Power poles on properties near the blaze did not appear to have been threatened.

Senior firefighter John Bringans, of Oamaru, said the controlled burn had been burning with no issues for much of yesterday, before it jumped on to the area above the bank and quickly spread.

‘‘The wind has picked up and just done it.’’

The fire took about 30 minutes to bring under control but more than 20 rural firefighters were still at the site dampening down scorched areas about 9pm last night.

Police were also on the scene managing traffic.

daniel.birchfield@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment

drivesouth-pow-generic-1.png

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter