Extra firefighters arriving in Kaimaumau as residents told be prepared to move

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Extra firefighters will be at the site of the Northland blaze near Kaimaumau today as easterly winds continue.

Heavy machinery was brought in to widen an existing track and create firebreaks, as well as around orchards, around Kaimaumau village on 20 December, 2021.

Heavy machinery was brought in to widen an existing track and create firebreaks, as well as around orchards, around Kaimaumau village on 20 December, 2021. Photo: Facebook / Northland – Fire and Emergency

There were 40 fire crews expected on site today, almost double yesterday’s numbers.

Incident controller John Sutton said it was likely residents nearby would see more smoke today because of the winds.

However, he said they shouldn’t be alarmed, but should be prepared to move if the fire broke over the boundary.

People are urged to stay indoors and shut windows, and call Healthline if they suffered respiratory issues.

Firefighters have been battling the blaze for about 16 days, but it flared up again on New Year’s Day, forcing residents to evacuate for a second time.

The two-week-old fire in wetland and vegetation started moving again, propelled by the sea breeze.

Heavy machinery has been used in recent days to widen the firebreaks near the village, so that residents could return home.

It is estimated the fire has covered almost 2400 hectares.

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