Yesterday afternoon, ia-nujed by a; howling gale, a. fierce bush fire swept the M otu river;* Assey from McLeod's sawmill toward§_,, Matawai, and ran through Messrs Mortleman's and W, and J. Clark's properties, j The township of "■ Matawai was fo^ some time ire-great danger. •; Camps aiuf'w hares along the railway line were burned out, and families were, hurriedly removed to' the railway cottages. *
Mr Fleming and family had a trying time!' Their, outhouses were biirned, but the homeistead was saved.
. The timber m front of Neal's store was alight several times.
A heavy downpour of rain at midnight Saved ths situation. Had rain not fallen .the township would certainly have been lost. The gale was severe and the fir?s burned fiercely, covering a distance of four miles m an hour. AlcLeod's and Drummond's mills were endangered, buLwere saved by the rain. The fires wore even more exciting than those of a few weeks ago. This morning heavy rain -was falling accompanied by a. fearful, gale. At Rakauro* a. fierce fire has been raging since Wednesday, on Messrs 1 ' Graham's, McLoughlin's* and _ Shaw's properties. Fortunately they had moved their stock to safer quarters. Strong north-west . and ..westerly breezes have lieen blowing, and the above three settlers'ahad an anxious time m protecting their -homesteads. By means of buckets, however, they succeeded m saving their houses. They wer-e "fighting the fire up. to 2 o'clock Jhis ! morning, when heavy rain came' on and checked tli© fire. The Vain continued during the day and the fire- is practically out; now. The Tahpra "telephone line ;hais^ be£n destroyed and no tidings Were' Available from there to-day. A 'big fiire •■ was burning on Mr Bramley's place yesterday, on Run 47. With a .'change of wind it doubled back on him, scorching his country severely. The fire got intothe standing bush, but the rain- has checked the spread.
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