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THE FIRES IN THE BUSH DISTRICT.

Oat - Walpawa correspondent writing yesterday Bays-:— Yesterday morning Mr *. i £ ul !f. oou . nt y ohairmaD, accompanied by Mr Gilmoar, overseer, visited Ashley-Clinton, with the object of promoHnß the interrupted communication, dne to the firea. They found the reports mentioned In my last letter quite trne, and all the places named were completely burnt. Is appears that the fire commenced in the back block («os. l, 2, an d . 3. Makaretu survey district) where Mr M'Ktbbin, who laaees Raes Watklns' place, was burnt out. There is abaoletsly no salvage, and the insurances are few and tor very small amounts. Those who nave not lost their homes have lost fencing, grass seed, winter feed, and stock. the fire travelled at hnrrloane speed, fanned by the westerly gale. The bridges at Ireland's and Anderson's were burnt away, and the chairman fonnd it impossible to got to Makaretu unless on horseback. He instructed the overseer to prepare plans for new bridges, to be put in hand at once, and In the meantime to provide temporary provision for croselnfi the creeks, tenders to be called at once — ! Particulars have reached me this afternoon Of a bush fire at Whakarara. A family named Wooten lived on the side of the Mangataura creek, on Mr Barlow's proPu'^'^l e A r 2 oame alon 8 B 0 swiftly that although Mrs Wooten got their goods out of the house they were, with the ■ house, entirely consumed before they could remove them, including a sewing machine, sidesaddle, bed and bedding, blankets, &o. The husband was working 15 miles away at the time, and the wife and children had to crocs the river three times before they got into a place of •afety. The consequence of these fires means absolute ruin to many people, who nave ao present resources. Our Ormoudvitle correspondent, writing yesterday, says: -The high wind whioh blew on Friday and Saturday quickened the srjonldering fires and caused some ajstety for the safety of the township. Mr West's house was at one time in great danger, but fortunately eßeaped, On Sunday the big railway bridge between here and Makiptuku was threatened, but It was carefully watched and the wind has fallen now. On Saturday night the fire came through the big railway cutting near Mr Leach's, and the bell of the Wesleyan chapel was rang as aa alarm. ' A number of men put in an appearance and succeeded In beating out the flames. Reporta reaoh ub from Norsewood and Makotuku of considerable losses there, some six or seven houses having been bnrnt and a quantity of fencing, haystacks, barnp, and outbuildings. Among those whose homes have been burnt are Messrs Wright, of Makotukn, and Becket, Jessop, P. Gundataon, and C. Smith, oi Norßewood. This morning the bridge near Hoigh's, on the Danish line, was on fire, but the fire was put out before any great damage was none. Oar Tlkokino correspondent says :— From the dense volumes of smoke whioh rolled over the plains during the latter _ part of last week it was feared that muoh "damage would be reported from the bush dtstriots. News came in during Saturday evening and Sunday from the different places that a line of fire was raging right through the Whakarara, Blackburn, Makaretn, and Ashley-Clinton settlements. The correct list of bulldiDgs destroyed la not yet to hand. Conflicting report?, which are usual at suoh times, are current. It is stated that the AshleyClinton school is bnrnt) and some houses, ■ and at Makaretn a church, several houses, and sheds. The Makaretu bridge was on fire, but saved before much damage was done. It Is reported that one settler gave up all hopes of saving his cottage and ■ removed the furniture and other effects, and lost the latter, while the house escaped destruction. Several persons Buffered from semi-blindness during the week. The Btnoke from bush fires generally has tfala effect when persons have to work day and night in, fighting the flames. Mr Finlay Morrison, at Makaretu, kindly gave shelter to a large number of those who were compelled to leave their homes, A great deal of furniture and other thiogs were burled for safety. One of the oldest settlers says that the conflagration was the largest he has ever witnessed. The fire 4^*fravelled with great rapidity, and soon covered the country, fanned on by a heavy gale, An eye-witness describes the scene as fearfnl, the hills being a mass of flame emlfctlDg cicada of sparks.

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THE FIRES IN THE BUSH DISTRICT. Hawkes Bay Herald, Volume XXXI, Issue 10242, 3 March 1896

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