SERIOUS BUSH FIRES. [Per Press Associa.tion/1 AUCKLAND, Jan. 7. Large bush fires have been raging in the Whangamata district during the past few days, and it is feared that a largo amount of kauri timber has been destroyed in Messrs Barrow's an 4 Kilgour's bush. In the Wharekawa Valley, along the wires, where there is a larsre extent of decayed bush, and in the vicinity of the Golden Mount Camp, very heavy fires are in progress, and it is feared they will do considerable damage to miners' camps in the immediate vicinity. Further particulars are to hand regarding the bush fire at Wharekawa. Owing to the phenomenal drought, fires have raged all along the east coast of the Peninsula, bui in Tairua and Whangamata they have been most destructive, and particularly so in the locality known as Wharekawa, where Messrs Leyland and O'Brien's timber and flotage rights exist. . The sub-contractors had a large number of Cut logs in the creeks, and it is estimated that the damage done to timber and dams will amount to several hundreds of pounds. The few scattered settlers in the affected district have had an exciting time during the last few days. The roar of the fires could be heard several miles away. A plucky action is reported on the part of a settler's wife. As the fire advanced she went to a hut where some dynamite was stored and buried the explosive, to keep it out of reach of the flames. Extensive bush fires have been raging in Kennedy's Bay for the past two weeks. During the holidays the Bay View camp and one or two other whares were destroyed. Some of the men who started work on the King of the Ranges mine had to take refuge in the Bay View tunnel, as all other means of escape were cut off.
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