Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Fire and Emergency battling large vegetation fire at Cape Reinga

Fire and Emergency battling large vegetation fire at Cape Reinga

A combination of helicopters and ground crews are currently preventing the spread of a large vegetation fire situated inland from the Te Werahi Loop walking track (Twilight Track), Cape Road, Cape Reinga in the Far North.

The fire, in rolling hills covered with manuka and other small plant life, was reported to Fire and Emergency at 15.20 yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 28 March).

Fire and Emergency Incident Controller Rory Renwick said the fire area currently covers a total of 390 hectares; however not all of that area has been burned.

"Today we have 10 helicopters in the air in strong gusty southerly conditions. At the moment they are preventing the fire from flaring and spreading further to the north and our expectation is that we will be able to continue to hold it; however if it does get away, it will be hard to stop.

"Meanwhile four ground crews are focused on the southern edge of the fire area - in the general location where it began yesterday - working to ensure the edges are out to prevent it spreading with the wind change that is forecast for Friday."

The fire is on a combination of public conservation and private land. This area is of cultural, environmental and recreational significance and significant to Ngāti Kuri Iwi who are proactively assisting with the event. Both the area around the iconic Cape Reinga lighthouse, and the Ngāti Kuri-operated campground at Tapotupotu Bay, were evacuated yesterday afternoon and State Highway 1 is closed from Te Paki Stream Road north.