(Speelal to the "Evening ros:.") MASTERTON, This Day.
A warning that visitors to forest reserves .must be extremely careful not to start fires was issued by Mr. T. E. Stringer, Wairarapa district officer of the State Forest Service, when refering yesterday to the fire which broke out in the Mount Holdsworth Reserve on Sunday last. Ii appeared, said Mr. Stringer, that the fire had been the result of carelessness, or perhaps vandalism, on the part of some visitor. There was evidence of fireworks having been lit all the way up the track from the Bannister Hut to Donnelly's Flat, which was close to the scene of the fire. II there were any further signs of fire or vandalism, Mr. Stringer stated, it would be necessary for the State Forest Service to close the Mount Holdsworth and other'reserves to the public. . About 180 acres, of scrub and bush were destroyed in the' Mount Holdsworth fire.. Mr. Stringer and other Forest Service employees spent two days endeavouring to get the blaze under control, but it was not until late on Tuesday afternoon, after heavy rain had fSllen throughout the day, that the fire was completely -extinguished. Amongst the scrub' destroyed there were a number of valuable young trees, including beeches. Fire-fighters went out early on Monday morning, and concentrated mainly on extinguishing the smouldering edge of the fire, in order to arrest its spread. Great difficulty was experienced in obtaining water, which had to be carted up the ridge from the river in watertight haversacks. As the Mount Holdsworth Reserve was in a fire district, said' Mr. Stringer, to light any fires from October 1 to March 31 was an offence. The State Forest Service, he said, would appreciate- information concerning fire or vandalism in any ol the reserves.
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