Māngere Mountain fire
11 December 2019
Māngere Mountain fire: Tūpuna Maunga Authority working with Fire and Emergency New Zealand
The Tūpuna Maunga Authority is working closely with Fire and Emergency New Zealand to understand the cause of today’s fire on Te Pane o Mataoho / Te Ara Pueru / Māngere Mountain.
Early reports from Fire and Emergency is that they are treating the fire as suspicious.
Arborists are onsite today to assess fire damage to trees, and the walking tracks around the location of the fire will be closed until further notice.
Paul Majurey, Chair of the Tūpuna Maunga Authority, says it is utterly disappointing that people are not acting responsibly on the Maunga, particularly considering the Guy Fawkes fires at Maungarei / Mt Wellington and Maungawhau / Mt Eden on 6 November this year.
“Proactive steps are taken on the Maunga to manage fire risk, though fire started through careless behavior is difficult to avoid. Ultimately, the responsible behaviour of the public is the best fire prevention tool we have.”
“The Tūpuna Maunga Authority works with Fire and Emergency throughout the year, every year, to review fire safety plans on the Maunga and to implement safety measures such as mowing fire breaks between the Maunga and adjoining properties.”
“Fire breaks were mown around the perimeter of Māngere Mountain on 21 and 22 November, and Fire and Emergency approved these during a site visit with Authority staff on 29 November.”
“Some people will be concerned about grass length, though as we saw during Guy Fawkes, fire easily spread on relatively short grass at Maungarei / Mt Wellington and Maungawhau / Mt Eden. The Maunga are open vegetated spaces that are elevated and exposed to the wind. Fire can take hold quickly on the Maunga and people must be more vigilant.”
Majurey adds that on maunga which have roads to the tihi (summit), Fire and Emergency have unrestricted access to the entrance gates which allow service vehicles to get as close as possible to an incident. This system worked well during the Guy Fawkes fires at Maungarei / Mt Wellington and Maungawhau / Mt Eden.
“Māngere Mountain has no roads to the tihi, and fire crews did the best they could to contain the blaze under the circumstances. The Authority thanks Fire and Emergency staff for their great efforts to protect the Maunga and ensure the safety of neighbouring residents,” says Majurey.
Visit www.maunga.nz for more information about the Tūpuna Maunga Authority.