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Submitted by admin2 on Sun, 02/01/2022 - 12:05am

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it."
- Thucydides

Firefighting efforts today have so far held the Waiharara fire within the containment lines.

The easterly wind has been pushing the fire towards the western flank of the fireground, so those of you in Houhora and Pukenui will have experienced more smoke than for several days.

Smoke is also impacting visibility on SH1 and Waka Kotahi is advising motorists to expect delays and avoid the area if possible.

Firefighters, helicopters and heavy machinery have been back in the area north of Kaimaumau today, where the fire broke out of the containment line yesterday. Incident Controller John Sutton says that they have been able to widen the firebreak and make it more robust.

Crews will once again be patrolling the village overnight as a precaution.

The northwest sector of the fireground has also been a focus today. The conditions are challenging for firefighters. Heat, wind and humidity are compounded by the wetland terrain, where it is not always possible to use heavy machinery. The fire is burning underground in the peat in some places, while in others there is native vegetation, scrub and trees.

The photo is of firefighter Joel Cleaver from Maungakaramea. The stick shows how far the fire is burning into the bank behind him. Thanks to Aroha Hughes for the pic.