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FOREST FIRE

STATE PLANTATION

LONG FIGHT AGAINST , FLAMES

(By Telegraph—Press Association.) CHRISTCHURCH, February 20. A fire in the State Forest Balmoral plantation was confined today to an area of 200 acres by the action of ! five forestry workers who extinguished a fresh outbreak beyond a firebreak. The * area partially destroyed? was planted in young trees, some of which are expected to revive if there should be rain. The fire was the first to occur in the Balmoral plantation since it was opened in 1916, but is the second in North Canterbury within a week, the first of which, at Medbury, was quickly ' checked. Starting at the north-western end ,of the 24,000-acre forest, about seven miles from Culverden, and fanned, by a north-west wind, today's fire soon got out of control. It attracted people from as far away as Hanmer, and at the height of the fire, which began at about 2 o'clock, 150 persons were fighting it with shovels, with which they scraped away the thick ground covering of needles from the Pinus insignis trees. The thick undergrowth of the old manuka scrub made the checking of the fire difficult, and disaster to the Balmoral forest was threatened at one stage. The method of fighting the fire by starting another fire at the break was used near the junction of the short-cut road and the Takoa Road, but a spark set alight old trees across the road.. , .

The fresh outbreak was fought courageously by five forestry workers with shovels. Fortunately, there was a lull in the wind and the danger of a serious spread of the fire passed. By 6.15 the fire was under control, but a watch, superintended by Mr. H. Roche, of the Hanmer Springs branch of the State Forest Service, was maintained throughout the night.

The programme will be repeated tO" night.

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FOREST FIRE Evening Post, Volume CXXVII, Issue 43, 21 February 1939

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