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UPDATE 10.30am - Waiharara Fire, Northland

Firefighters are continuing efforts at the Waiharara fire today. Five ground crews (around 25 people including Department of Conservation and forestry crews), five helicopters and nine heavy machinery (bulldozers and excavators) are at the fire ground this morning.

The fire has not spread overnight. Today crews will be continuing to strengthen containment at the north end of the fire and manage hot spots where peat fires are burning underground.

This morning fire crews will be conducting a controlled burnout to remove around 15ha of unburnt vegetation. This removes the risk of this vegetation becoming fuel for spreading the fire. Our crews are experienced in this activity. While this is underway you will see smoke. Be assured this is planned and controlled.

Helicopters will be overhead while the controlled burnout is underway. The map below shows the perimeter of the fire and our containment lines. The red outline shows the area of the controlled burnout.

Fire crews will remain at Waiharara over Christmas and through the new year continuing mahi to ensure the fire is controlled and completely mopped up.

There is still a lot of smoke drifting from the fire. If you are affected by the smoke, please close windows and doors. If you are experiencing any health issues or have health concerns, please call healthline on 0800 611 116.

Kaimaumau residents are reminded to disconnect drain pipes from roof spouting so ash and debris doesn’t get in to water tanks. While there are no hot spots behind the Kaimaumau community, they are asked to be prepared should there be a need to evacuate again in future.

As the situation remains steady, this will be the last formal update for this fire unless there are any new developments.

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