Destructive Bash Fires.
(Per Press Association.) ' Masterton, Deo. 81. Most disastrous bush fires have been in the vicinity of Masterton and the district generally At Fernridge the fire swept the paddestroying gates and fences. L, Brfght's six roomed honse and outbuildiags were destroyed, also three houses and sheds and their contents, belonging io Mr AJex. Burnett. Mr Berrill's sawmill, Mr F. Shaw's homestead and Mr J. Sykes' woolshed were burnt to the ground. Mr E. Chamberlain loses a four reomed cottage, stable and woolshed. Shearing was going on at the time, and the settlers hid hard wotk to save their sheep. *Mr Thomas Chamberlain lost a fourroomed cottage; and other residences were in great danger, bat were saved. At Mikimiki the bridge was totally destroyed- Fences vere all burned, and the ground laid bare for miles. At Matahiwi Messrs Holmes Bros, bad 400 acres of grass burnt. Several settlers were burnt out at Hastwell, and had narrow escapes of their lives, many being severely burnt. There has been great destruction of stock and property al Ejtetahuna. The residences of Messrs Cartwright and Ingheywere burnt, also Mr Hawkins' mill, Mr Nicol's outbuildings, and Mr Cruickshank's premises. A large traffic bridge on the Masterton road is destroyed. It is difficult to estimate the damage. Insurances are not obtainable. Heavy rain has now set in. Very heavy damage has been done in the Forty-mile Bush district. Hiding's mill at Eketahuna has been burnt, and so has a traffic bridge on the FketahunaMasterton road. Dasnevirke, December 31. Several bush fires have occurred around Dannevirke. Gundries' sawmill, Manpatera, was destroyed this morning.
Several settlers at Apiti had a warm time of it on Wednesday last, when the high wind which prevailed caused a bush fire to spread across their properties, destroying a considerable, amount of grass and fences. Messrs J. Meehan, H. Osborne, W. Wilson, Wade and others had an anxious time of it until the spread of the fire waa checked by a shower of rain. On one'occasion Mr Wade's house had caught fire and Bis belongings bad to be removed to a place of safty, while Mr Osborne and others had to take active precautions to prevent the destruction of their residences. Although it is not yet known if many sheep have been destroyed by the fire, yet a number bear the appearance of having had a good scorching,. However, the principal loss is the i destruction of acres of grass. >
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