The Taranaki Herald. PUBLISHED DAILY. FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 1897.
Although Wednesday's rain has removed the immediate danger of the spread of bush fires to any serious extent, it behoves country settlers to exercise the greatest care in starting fires. From Australia, from all parts of New Zealand, and also from our own district come reports of excessively dry weather, and in some cases disastrous fires have a'ready occurred. In the neighbourhood of Stratford fires have been uncomfortably numerous, and in some instances dwellings have only been saved bj tremendous exertions. At Okaiawa on Sunday last a settler lost a paddock of grass, which was fired by a spark from an adjoining bush fire, and only with the greatest difficulty did he save a fine mob of fat cattle which were pastured in the paddock. The whole of the bush district is, indeed, about ripe for a general conflagration, for Wednesday's rain will have but a transient effect, and it needs only a southerly gale for two or three days to fnn the smouldering logs into a blaze which would soon envelope the who'e country. Hence we would earnestly caution people about the risk attached to starting fires at the present time. It may, of course, happen that the predictions of a very dry season will be falsified ;we hope they will ; but it is always better to be sure than sorry, and at the present time what fires exist are probably fairly within control.
Tho Minister for Justice,the Hon. T. Thompson, arrived from Auckland thiß (Friday) morniug and proceeded to Wellington. The following tenders have been received by Mr Deacon, architect, for the erection of a residence at Omata for H. J. Cromplon, Esq. : —Boon Bros., £698 17s ; M. Olow, £G'.)2 ; C. Potts, £687 ; J. Loveridpo, £085 ;G. Cliff, £652 ; J. Coleman, £640; Pikett & Grayling, £590 (accepted). The ofliei.ils of the Amateur Athletic Club .should, at future gatherings, strictly enforce the rule about the prohibition of betting in the grounds. The sight of a professional bookmaker plying his trade was not at all calculated to give visitors c good impression of amateur athletics in New Plymouth, nnd it repeated will certainly alienate the sympathy of many well-wishers and supptrtera of the Club,
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