Matawaia Fire Update
Fire and Emergency New Zealand is continuing to respond to a large scrub fire at Matawaia in the Far North.
The first call to the fire was at 3.35pm yesterday.
The fire has now burnt through at least 178 hectares. Most of the fire is contained, but a portion of it along the western perimeter is still uncontained.
The western perimeter is about one kilometre away from Pipiwai road.
There are 65 ground crew currently working on the fire, including crews from the Department of Conservation and forestry companies.
We also have two excavators, three bulldozers and five helicopters working on the fire.
Incident Controller Geoff Purcell says the helicopters are focusing around the western sector of the fire, to contain it.
"There are also some houses in the vicinity, and we are working closely with residents and will notify them if the risks increase." Geoff Purcell says.
"We are also encouraging people living nearby to keep their windows closed and stay inside to avoid the smoke."
Mr Purcell says Fire and Emergency is working closely with local iwi, who have been assisting locals and the firefighting effort.
Northland is currently in a prohibited fire season, meaning no open-air fires can be lit. Fire and Emergency also recommends caution needs to be shown while undertaking spark generating activities in the region.