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Kaimaumau Township In The Far North Evacuated Due To Waiharara Fire

19 December

Residents of Kaimaumau township in the Far North are evacuating overnight as a scrub fire in Waiharara has spread faster than anticipated on Sunday.

The majority of residents are being accommodated at Waiharara School, with Ngai Takoto also making marae available. Police, Civil Defence and the Kaimaumau Community Response Group are supporting the evacuation.

Wipari Henwood, District Manager Northland, Fire and Emergency says, "The fire has spread faster than anticipated due to the weather conditions and there is a risk to the township of Kaimaumau overnight. As the wind drops and temperate cools at night, it should slow the fire down.

"We will continue to monitor the situation overnight and the priorities from first light will be to reinforce a containment line around the township with heavy machinery, and protect the properties. Crews from Whangarei and Kaitaia specialising in structure protection will join the existing ground crews, along with nine helicopters."

The fire is on Department of Conservation estate.

The fire started Saturday afternoon when more than 40 firefighters and seven helicopters were deployed. It has since spread to more than 600 hectares of land. Today around 20 firefighters, along with seven helicopters, were deployed to contain the fire.

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