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SERIOUS FIRES

TAUPO BUSH AREA

MtN MAVt NAKrSUW LdUHrc, O.C. AUCKLAND, This Day. Bush fires which have been raging in Taupo for the past ten days became very serious in the Acacia Bay area about midday yesterday, when the house of Mr. E. A. Wakeman was seriously threatened. A call was madte for volunteer fighters and 30 men responded. Under the direction of public works engineers and Mr. B. Booth and with j the assistance of a large bulldozer the house was saved, but two motor-cars, a garage, and a large store shed were destroyed. The shed contained a considerable amount of valuable household goods. There are five beach cottages in this locality, but so far they have escaped. j A party of three men working a large bulldozer to put a firebreak round the Wakeman forestry plantation was trapped by the fire, but succeeded in getting the machine out by making for an old burn. They lost .their coats ■■ and other gear. The fire eventually jumped the firebreak and{ at dusk last evening was burning right into the plantation, the trees of which are 29 years old and are mostly Oregon and redwood. JUMPED WAIKATO RIVER. The same fire, which had travelled north as far as the Huka fishing lodge, but was stopped by back-burning on Monday, became very active near Reid's farm yesterday. About three p.m. it jumped the Waikato River over a distance of 300 yards and at dusk was burning fiercely on the opposite bank. On the Rotorua-Taupo road the flames yesterday reached a point eight miles from the big Rotokawa Forestryl Company's plant, in which. direction they were making rapid progress up to sunset, when the wind changed to the opposite direction, north-west. This will undoubtedly retard the progress of the fire unless' there is a further change of wind. The whole situation is considered to be serious owing to the dry state of the country. The State Fire Service has a radio patrol out covering the whole area where the fires are burning. This squad is in constant communication with a large number of fire-fighters, whose services can be called upon at any point where necessary.

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SERIOUS FIRES Evening Post, Volume CXXXVII, Issue 3, 5 January 1944

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