Bush Fire in Mahia

Firemen have spent the last three days putting out a bush fire in Mahia. Mahia is on the East Coast of the North Island, south of Gisborne.

More than 100 fire officers and helpers with fire trucks and helicopters have been fighting the fire. The helicopters dropped water bombs on the fire. The weather was hot, up to 39 degrees in the area, the grass was dry and the winds were strong, making it hard to stop the flames from spreading. About 140 hectares of forest and grass have been burnt and eight buildings destroyed. 175 people from 50 houses stayed in the local school overnight. They said it was very frightening watching the smoke and flames shooting into the sky.

The flames are finally out but the ground is hot. If the wind gets strong again, the fire could start up again. Fire officers will stay in the area until they are sure that the fire is completely dead.

Nobody knows exactly how the fire started.