DESTRUCTIVE BUSH FIRE.
(Per Press Association.) AUCKLAND, this day. By a bush fire, which spread to the State farm at Waerenga, damage to the value of £2000 has been done. In the acacia plantation considerable damage is reported, and it was with much difficulty and only after the most strenuous exertions that the orchard and vineries were saved. . The exceptionally long spell of dry thither 1 the Auckland province has been hiving (states an Auckland correspondent) has left the country m a very parched condition, and if rain doeß not Some along soon it is quite possible that the' disastrous fires of three years ago, which w*re so severe m many parts of the province, and particularly m the Waimarino, will be repeated. At this time of the year the settlers are busy burning off their clearings, and the fires have been making a cleaner sweep of things than usual. The marked instance of the excessive dryness is to be found on the swamp between Ruakura Junction and Morrinsville. As a rule this is a topping morass, but for several days it has been on fire, and the other day the JKotorua. express passed through a wall of smoke m this vicinity. Bush fires are raging m many of the country districts surrounding Auckland, big blazes ibeing Teported from the Waitakarei ranges. The Auckland Herald's Dargaville correspondent telegraphed on Wednesday*. Bush fires of small extent are '"general, and the district is enveloped m smoke. At Mr E. Harding's Aoroa estate'2o men -have been engaged for two days m subduing a large paddock of oat stubble which was accidentally fired. Teams of horseß have been continuously engaged m hauling water, m order tp save the Btacks, which are now considered to be out of danger, but as the land is: reclaimed swamp, and contains much peaty matter and resin, the subjugation of the fire is difficult. On the Hore Hore estate a large blaze has been for three days passing through the timber area, but no estimate of the damage is available. The country is very dry, and special precautions are being taken on all homesteads against the grass areas being fired."
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