An aerial shot shows the extent of the damage

A spark from a welding torch at Stony Batter Historic Reserve caused a grass fire last week scorching a massive section of land. Department of Conservation (DoC) contractors were working on tunnel doors on-site when a rogue spark landed on the dry grass. 

The contractors had an extinguisher and about 15 water bottles on hand to attempt to put out the spreading grass fire. A group from the neighbouring Man O’ War Vineyard quickly rushed over to support the contractors as they waited for Waiheke Fire and Emergency services to arrive. 

“Around 14 firefighters worked to put out the fire in sweltering and dry conditions,” firefighter Rob Smith told Gulf News.

“We were fortunate with the wind factor – that was the saving grace. If there were prevailing winds, it would have been a different story.”

Even so, the grass fire charred around two acres (0.8ha) of land and 25,000 litres of water was required to get it under control. • Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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