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HUGE GRASS FIRE

FOUR SHEEP RUNS

GREAT FIGHT FOR CONTROL

WIND CHANGE HELPS

(By Telegraph—Press Association.)

BLENHEIM, This Day,

Four sheep runs at Hillersden, thirtyfive miles from Blenheim, were involved, at least two of them seriously, in a grass fire which broke away yesterday afternoon and spread with alarming rapidity. Fortunately, the outbreak was practically entirely confined to the hills, but the settlers spent an anxious night fighting to prevent the flames coming down on to the flats, where grave damage could have, been caused. They were helped considerably by a change in wind, which turned in the evening to the south and tended to blow the blaze back to the hills.

The weary fire fighters returned this morning from an all-night battle to report that their efforts had been successful and that the fire was extin-

guished,

As far as can be ascertained the fire broke away on the Stanhope property, occupied by Mr. R. B. McLennan, about midday yesterday but did not assume serious proportions till later in the afternoon. The settlers were not long in gathering, but by the time they had concentrated on the hills the wind had swept the fire along through the gullies and over the ridges from Stanhope to Wantwood, owned by Mr. G. Neville, and Hartley Hills, owned by Mr. F. L. Murray. At the same time it spread in the opposite direction from Stanhope towards Mr. J. Barry's property slightly to the north.

At one stage the fire had a front of about four miles and extended in from the hills for about a mile. Much of the area, however, consists of gullies, so that the acreage of the actual pasture destroyed may not exceed fifteen hundred.

No information has been received regarding stock losses, but there is a distinct probability that these will, be severe.

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HUGE GRASS FIRE Evening Post, Volume CXXVII, Issue 90, 18 April 1939

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