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SEKIOUS STATE OF THE COUNTRY DISTRICTS. HOMES BURNT AND CROPS DESTROYED. For many clays smoke has been rolling clown the Hutt Valley. Tho southerly yesterday drovo tho fumes the other way, but the advent of a northerly has brought the grey and opal clouds along in increased volumes. All day tho sky has mado it plain that fire has raged far and wide up the line. The sun has been struggling to shine all day, but can do nothing bus cast' brassy tints upon the city occasionally. This morning , tho harbour was a spectaclo pretty and 'mystical enough to make the most com-mercial-minded man in Wellington have a momentary thrill. The calm water was like liquid gold in tho smoke-stained sunshine, and the warships, with their bunting lightly iluttering, were deeply limned, liko phantoms of tho deep — "painted ships upon a paint3d ocean." Tho hop.s'es along Oriental Buy barely peeped through the haze, and they soemed like the advance guard ofvi- vast city, obscured by fog. Petone and other distant .points of tho shore aro hidden from view, 'and Gmoke' veils all the hills. It i 3 'a curtain which hides the sad happenings far away, and some of tho holiday-makers had an emotion of sympathy for tho sufferers beyond the screen. Passengers who rame in from tho Wairarapa at 1 o'clock say that ihe country was blurred by smoke along the whole route, but the firo seemed to be confined to the lower slopes ol the. Tararuas. POSITION IN THE WAIRARAPA. GEASS DRIED UP, AND WATER SCARCE. [BY TELEOBA.TH. — SrECIAL TO TltE POST.] • CARTERTON, This Day. The 'heavy south-westerly wind that set in last sight fanned the bush fires on tho Tararua hills, and the sparks were carried to the dry grass on the West Taratahi Plains. Several small bridges have been burned, and no less than seven whares in the Maungaterere Valley were destroyed by> the fire. Mr. A. W, BlackwelTs houss was burned down yesterday, and further reports of damage are expected to arrive. The Small dairy farmers are greatly distressed, the grass . being dried up, and- -water scarce. Tho ' milk supply at the '-several factories shows a serious falling' off, which can only be expected under the circumstances.. The reservoirs which supply Cartsrlon are situate at' West Taratahj, and the water is becoming, tainted with tho ashes falling f ro'nr the fires in the neighbouring hills. CARTERTON ENVELOPE© IN SMOKE. *" [BT. TELEGRAM. — ?BESS ASSOCIATION.] - ' CARTERTON,- This Day. Thick acrid s>moke from the revived bush fires on the hills envelops the town. The fires have rekindled /through the breezes, 1 and last night a serious conflagration seemed imminent. The Manngaterere stream has now dried up, ■ and only pools remain. Bush fires continue along the spurs of tho Tararuas (Reports the Wairara'pa Daily News), and last night the hills appeared , to bo blazing from Fernsido to x Miki Miki. ,The flames crept down from the Maungaterere Valley, along the. lower foothills , to the flats/ at Belvedere. Above Anderson's line a large quantity of dead timber and it would be no difficult matter for the fire to (reach Carterton's outskirts, should ttye wind change. CARELESS USE OF FIRE. , AUCKLAND, klst January. "The indiscriminate and careless use of iire is a fruitful souroe of danger and destruction to property, especially during the summer months when matoroab'is 'inflammable," said ' Mr. Kettle, S.M., in the Police Court, when a boy was charged with having caused a fire at Narrow Neck. , v "One has only to go to one of the numerous picnic grounds round the city," 'added Mr. Kettle, "to see the wanton destruction of , beautiful native bush which ought to be preserved for 1 all time, and magnificent pohutukawa trees scarred and disfigured by the. reckless and indiscriminate lighting of fires." His Worship fined the lad 10s and costs, and intimated that any other offenders who might be brought before him would bo severely dealt with." [Bir TnßOßArn.— Special to The Post.] FEILDING, This Day. There was much smoke around Fejlding last night and this morning, indicating _ that bush and - grass fires atre still raging in the surrounding country. , HAWKES BAY TOWNSHIPS IN DANGER. FIVE FARMHOUSES BURNT. TWO BRIDGES DESTROYED. [BT TELEGRAPH. PRESS ASSOCIATION ] NAPIER, 21st January. From an early hour until about 11 a.m. to-day Napier was almost enveloped in dense smoke, and the atmosphere was hot and oppressive. About midday news was received of big bush fires at Pohui and Puketitiri, at both of which places there was for a time great danger of the sa-w mills and the workmen's homes being burnt. However, a change of wind about 1 p.m. altered the direction of the fire ana relieved the anxiety to some extent. A considerable quantity of valuable bush has been burnt at each place. At Makaretu a big fire raged fiercely for a time in the bush, though it was chiefly confined to one gully, and so far has done little damage. A grass fire destroyed several hundred acres of grass near Cnssoge, and other similar, fires are reported at several places between Te Aute and Waimarama, though whether they have been serious or not is not known. At Noraowbod tho fire which has been burning freely for several days in the bush in the vicinity was fanned by a strong wind yesterday morning, and thi6 came sweeping down the Ngamoko Valley, leaving desolation in its track. Five farmhouses— belonging to Messrs. J. O'Harra, C. P. Anderson, Alf. Olsen, J. Veal, and P. M. Cohr — were destroyed, and two bridges on the Ngamoko-Norse-wood main road wero burnt. It is believed that the Ngamoko creamery and P. M. Cohr's sawmill are certain to go. At Makotuku, Gamman Bros. No. 1' Rakaiatai sawmill is also considered to be very likely to go if the wind does not change. Grave fears are entertained for many settlers' homes in this vicinity. FIRES IN NELSON PROVINCE. FRUIT CROPS RUINED. NELSON, 21st January. Bush and grass fires are etill burning in all parts of the district. Another and more serious outbreak is reported to have occurred to-day in the Whangapeka, and settlers arc put defending their homes ar" 3 «tock.

reliable reports of the extent of the damage have yet come to band. The frnit growers in the Motueka and Takaka districts will be heavy losers by the drought, most of the crops, especially "raspberries, being utterly ruined. A SAWMILL DESTROYED NELSON, This Day. Baigent's sawmill in Pigeon Valley, Waiti district, was burned down by the bush fires yesterday. GREAT FIRE AT THE BEALEY. COUNTRY SWEPT FOR MILES. CHRISTCHURCH, This Day. A tremendous bush fire is raging on the Cora Lynn Estate at the Bealey, sweeping the country for miles. The homestead and woolshed wero threatened ,but were saved by a sudden change of wind. The fire is supposed to have been originated by a fire lighted by passengers stuck up at Bealey Dy the flood in the Waimakariri last week, and which has been smouldering since. Details to hand are meagre. MISSING YOUTH TURNS* UP SAFELY. A SETTLER'S NARROW ESCAPE. EKETAHUNA'S DANGER. N EKETAHUNA, This Day. The wind changed from the south last night to north-west again, and the fires, which had eased down, are now freshening. A large area of grass has, been burned and fences destroyed at Mangaoronga. Busst's house was not burned at Niroaha, as reported, but is in danger. A party is spraying it to prevent lb catching. The cheese factory thero is still threatened. The youth Waterens, reported as missing, turned up safely at Newman. Mr. Chew, manager of the Nireaha factory, had a thrilling experience. He went to the school to get a spade, but the door jambed when he was in the building, and he was unable to get out for some time. When he had •forced his way out he found himself surrounded by fire. He dug a small hole, and curled himsdf tip in it, and had to stay in this position for five hours before being rescued in .a dazed condition. Meanwhile, he was being searched for in the ruins of his house, which wrs burnt. The fire is again approaching the-R-ongokokako factory. Large fires are reported in the Ihuraua district. The ■whole district *tere> is now cov^ ered with smoke. Early this morning it was so thick that it was impossible to see for a distance of more than half a chain.. A largo volume of fire is approaching Ekelahuna, and it will be dangerous if the wind alters more to the west. The county roadmen wtic» watching tho bridges all last night. Several caught alight yesterday, but the' fires were extinguished. On the Saunders road, Alfredton, •Mr. Burling had 1000 acres of grass burned, and a lot of sheep destroyed. Mrs. Owen lost a woolshed and its' contents. At Putara tho fires are fierce. Settlers have been working night and day. An old houses owned by Mr. Gunderson was burned, and a. new one caught alight several times, but has been s»aved up to the present. Many people in the borough have been carting water for daily 'use. Most of the tanks are dry. There is no indication of rain. DESTRUCTION OF GRASS FEED. RIVERS DRYING UP. NELSON, This Day. Yesterday was the worst day yet with the fires in the Wangapeka and Motueka valleys. A strong south-easterly breeze blew the smouldering bush into flames, and a wall of fire came up and down the Tadmor Hills towards Tapawera. Two thousand acres of grass at Wungapeliii were destroyed, and thb new settlers aro greatly concerned how to feed their stock, as no feed is left. Fortunately a change of wind in the afternoon drove back the iirc or other thousands of acres of dry feed across the rivers would have been destroyed. Tho rivers are lower than for many years past. The Tadmor river is dry in many places. All over the district tiout are dying in thousands. Several fish six and eight pounds in weight were rescued from tho drying pools, and nearly seven hundred trout were removed from a brook at Nelson to Matai. Hundreds in the country districts were similarly saved. , The principal sufferers in the Wangapeka and Motueka Valley are Mr|;srs Goodall,, Moffat, Wells, Hodgkinson, Smith, Paul, Drew, and Griffiths. The sky is cloudy, and the weather moderately cool but rain holds off. The fires round Nelson, Wangamoa, Alaungatapu have blackened the hills and filled the town with smoke. GRAVE OUTLOOK IN NELSON. UNLESS RAIN FALLS. SAWMILLS THREATENED. NELSON, This Day. Tho fire at Baigent's sawmill throws many out of employment. A sudden change of wind from vhs south to the north brought back the flames, which there was no resisting. Tunniclifie's mill, in Brandy Valley, Dovedale, which is parallel with Baigent's, and T. Price's mill, in Trass Valley, are also in peril, as the flames are sweeping thithorwood, but no details are available Among the sufferers in the Waimea Plains are J. W. and Jas. Eves, F. Currin, and T. Wadsworth. Owing to the density of the smoke and the great heat, it is almost impossible to muster stock, and hence great loss is feared. If the fires continue to spread and rain keeps off, the outlook will be very gloomy, and there will be fear of depression in the autumn and winter. THE MANAWATU GORGE. [Bt Telegraph. — Special to The Post.] PALMERSTON NORTH, This Day. Passengers by this morning's train from WoodviJlc state that the fire in the gorge is still burning. The flames were fiercest at tho Ashhurst end, but the wind having subsided the fire is dying. Until the smoke disappears it is impossible to ascertain the damage.

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THE FOREST FIRES. WELLINGTON UNDER SMOKE., Evening Post, Volume LXXV, Issue 18, 22 January 1908

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THE FOREST FIRES. WELLINGTON UNDER SMOKE. Evening Post, Volume LXXV, Issue 18, 22 January 1908

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