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Tasman Lookout fire quickly put out

Posted by SC Comments Off on Tasman Lookout fire quickly put out

Relaxing in the RSA on Friday 11 November when the fire siren went off. A few minutes later the Piha fire truck went racing down Beach Valley Road which usually means only one thing – fire on Tasman Lookout.

The 111 call was made at 20 past 9, and fireworks are suspected as people were seen running away from the scene.

The fire was in front of the stone seat on Tasman Lookout and with, fortunately, an offshore wind, was burning down the cliff. Of course with no water source, and a steep set of steps to climb, this is not the most accessible past of Piha, but also not the worst.

The Piha fire crew have practised this scenario and they were able to run hoses up to the top of the Lookout and get a good volume of water onto the fire within ten minutes of their arrival to prevent the fire spreading and getting established.

Fire Chief, Ron Gorter, reports it took another 10 minutes to get the fire under control and another 20 minutes to douse all the hot spots. The area burned is approximately 100 square metres and was grass and scrub.

The fire service reports that fires don’t like burning down hill, so it slowed down, though this one had started to wrap around, so we are lucky our fire service, aided by the teams from Karekare and Waiatarua, were able to get this under control so quickly.

This is a warning of how easily fires start at Piha and the risk of fireworks anywhere near bush, which is the whole of Piha. Fireworks are banned in all public places, beaches and parks. Please don’t risk it. The area uphill from Tasman Lookout is where my family has been controlling gorse and other weeds, and replanting,  since the very large fire in 1994. You can see how the bush is coming back, along with the birds. This year you will see many of the pohutukawa we have planted in blossom, as some are over 15 years old. Progress is slow in this harsh environment and the forest needs all the help it can get.

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