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FIRE DANGER

HAWKE'S BAY AREAS

NEW BLAZES OCCUR

SETTLERS KEPT VIGILANT

(By Telegraph—Press Association.)

HASTINGS, January 12

Bush fires again cast a pall of smoke and haze over Hawke's Bay today. The blaze which devastated a large area near Wakarara on Monday and Tuesday still burns spasmodically, though all danger to the mill and nearby settlement appears to have passed.

At a late hour tonight it was reported that new fires had broken out further into the ranges, where there are thousands of acres oi native bush. Observers stated that the glare was increasing, and it was believed that if the wind did not drop there was grave danger of a large area .of bush being destroyed. Settlers in the vicinity are reported to be preparing for a grim battle to prevent the spread of the

blaze,

Fierce winds' carrying sparks and blazing branches were responsible for several minor outbreaks which" burned out or were suppressed by vigilant settlers nearby Late this afternoon dangerous fires broke out in the bush near Kereru. about 12 miles north of Wakarara, threatening to destroy some thousands of acres of native bush running back into the ranges. Gales drove the fire onward, with rapid changes of direction. Settlers in the district were standing, by for ■ emergency calls during the afternoon and evening At one stage the Eaton and Simmons homesteads, near Kereru, were threatened, but a change of wind relieved the situation temporarily. Precautions were not relaxed, however, as sparks are being carried long distances, minor outbreaks occurring in many places at frequent intervals. t Further north! near the Napier-Taupo Road, extensive fern fires are blazing, the glare being clearly discernible in Napier, 20 miles away.

Inquiries among settlers in the ranges and foothills over a 40-mile front from Wakarara to Te Pohue reveal that they are exceedingly anxious concerning the possibility of further more dangerous fires occurring. The recent spell of hot weather, followed by high drying winds, has greatly increased the risk of fire.

The long distances covered by blazing sparks in the high wind makes it difficult to predict where a fresh outbreak may occur. Settlers are. keeping a 24-hour watch to prevent a repetition of the bush fire tragedies in Victoria. /

At present several separate fires are burning, scattered over a wide area.

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FIRE DANGER Evening Post, Volume CXXVII, Issue 10, 13 January 1939

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