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BUSH AND GRASS FIRES

[ EXTENT OF PHE DAMAGE. (From Ov* Own Correspondent.) GHRISTQHURCH, January 29. Mr Buokhurst, the Crown lands ranger, has returned from hie visit to the Oxford Forest. He informed a Press reporter this morning that the fire in that district was confined to the Crown bush, and 6caroely spread at all beyond the portion that had been worked by the sawmills. Only a little

of the green bush outside that area was bur.it. The worst of the loss was that suffered by some of the sawmillers in the destruction of their tramways, one man haying lost 15 or 16 bridges, his tramway being thus rendered useless for the time being. Another had sustained a similar misfortune, five of his bridges having been demolished. Both of these lessees had lost a few gheep. The easterly wind had saved the situation. There was still a little danger from isolated spots of fire in tho green bush, and a westerly wind might etart the conflagration again, but efforts were being made to extinguish the burning material in all these places. It was raining in the district intermittently nearly all day on Sunday, and further showers fell <m the hills yesterday. Mr Buekburet will pay a visit of inspection to the forest reserve beyond! Otarama to-morrow to see what damage hae been done to Crown property by the fire, which, spread from the Kowai Bush. He is in reoeipfof information that the fire is still burning away back on the hills at the edge of tho reserve, but it is not expected to spread or to do any furtner harm. February 1. The bush fire near Oxford freshened up at View Hill to-day and destroyed a sawmill and tramway belonging to Mr Rossiter. Fanned by the north-west wind, the fire continued along the base of Mount Oxford, and is now threatening the townships in the locality.

February 4. The largest grass fire that has been seen near Christchurch for 16 years occurred on Sunday on the Cashmere> Hills. In 12 hours 2000 acres of grass and tussock country were swept by fire, leaving a blackened waste. The fire was confined to the property of two owners — the Cashmere Estate and Mr G. Moon. No buildings were burnt, and only a few sheep, but the loss of feed is very great.

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BUSH AND GRASS FIRES Otago Witness, Issue 2760, 6 February 1907

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