HIGH WIND FANS FLAMES
For over four hours on Tuesday afternoon 80 men fought and finally subdued a serious scrub fire which threatened to spread to the Whakatarft Paper Mill's rimu and pmus insignis plantation at Matahina. Before the fire had been brought under control about 1000 acres of fern and scrub and a patch of tawa bush had been destroyed (reports a correspondent). Workmen engaged on the construction of a new sawmill fired some scrub to clear ground for the erection of cottages, and the fire, fanned by a strong south-westerly wind, swept through the tawa bush and spread to the scrub country in the vicinity of the plantations. About 12.45 p.m. the paper mill's office at Whakatane was notified, and all available men, including the male members of the office staff, were rushed to the scene of the outbreak. By the time they reached Matahina the fire was burning on a wide front in the direction of the most recentlyplanted area. A start was immediately made with the construction of firebreaks, a tractor being used.
The wind was so strong that several times the fire threatened to cross the firebreaks, and the men had a strenuous time in the full heat of the day beating out the flames with sacks and shovels. Just before? 5 p.m. the wind lulled, and the fire was at last isolated, within a quarter of a mile of the plantations.
The main party returned to Whakatane late in the evening after leaving men, to watch the burned area and prevent any recurrence of the outbreak. ,
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