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Waitaki Fires update #3 – Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Otago firefighters have now fully contained both vegetation fires in the Waitaki District, and they continue to work to extinguish hotspots.

Residents who self-evacuated from the Nenthorn fire near Middlemarch last night are not yet able to return as crews are still working near their homes.

The 78- hectare Nenthorn fire started around midnight and destroyed or damaged farm buildings. In the gale force winds, flames came close to a farm house but fire crews were able to save it.

Incident Controller Bobby Lamont says crews with hand tools, supported by excavators and helicopters have today been digging out and extinguishing deep-seated fires under two large stands of trees.

“One crew will monitor the fire overnight and there’ll be fresh crews arriving in the morning,” he says.

All Fire and Emergency crews have now left the second fire at Earthquakes near Duntroon on Department of Conservation land.

Incident Controller Jason Sarich says most of this fire was in grass which spread rapidly in last night’s gale force winds.

“The wind dropped around 7am this morning and crews were able to get on top of it pretty quickly,” he says.

Jason Sarich says the fire is completely contained and Department of Conservation fire crews are now working with helicopters to mop up hot spots.

The Department of Conservation crews will patrol and monitor the fireground for the next few days.


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