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BUSH FIRE.

A bush fire, very destructive in ibg effects, has been racing in the Moauataiari and Waiofcalri Creeks and Pung<i Flat gince yesterday afternoon. It began at about three o'clock, somewhere on tho range dividing the two creeks, and, fanned by the strong S.E. gale that then sprung up, it spread with amazing rapidity up and down and across Punga Fiat. When darkness set in, the scone, as viewed from Shortland was extremely grand. WaiotaM valley' was a sea of rfam<?, - surmounted by dense volumes of Inrid smoke, and the reflection of the tire lit up the township, and extended far across the mud flats seaward. A great many whares have been burned down, and the crushing machines in the Waiotahi Valley were placed in extreme peril, for tho fire extended downwards as far as the Criterion, and above that point | raged with such fury as to cut off all communication with the Australasian and Weaton's batteries. No hopes whatever were entertaiued of the escape of the Australasian; and wheu I reached the Criterion battery this morning I was informed that it had been burnt to the ground. fcnich, however, was not the case, for I found the battery standing intact, but not out of danger, surrounded, as it was, by blazing bush aud smouldering stump 3. Weston's has also es caped so far that it may be pronounced out of danger. A great deal of mining timber and firewood, that had been cit aud stacked on the Waiotahi, was destroyed, and the shoots of the (Golden Age Company mine were burnt, but not the tramway. Besides the burning of several wharea aud cottages, the only serious result in the Moanataiari Valley was the destruction of tho United Service machine-house by a falling tree. A report, the truth of which I do not vouch for, aays that miuing timber and other stock, of the value of £1,000, the property of the Moanataiari Water Supply Company, has been burnt. The fire ia still burning aud spread* ing. Nothing but a heavy rain shower will extinguish it.— [Own Correspondent.]

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BUSH FIRE. Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXVII, Issue 4219, 21 February 1871

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