Saturday 11th March saw the Newlands brigade attend one of the largest scrub fires in our area in recent times.

At approximately 9.50pm Newlands Station were turned out to a vegetation fire (multiple 111 calls) in Newlands Road behind the bus depot. Upon arrival, the Newlands OIC, SSO Tony Swain found a large area of gorse and pine trees behind the industrial area in Hurring Place well involved and spreading up and over the hill through to Spenmoor Street. A call was made for the second responding appliance (Tawa Volunteers) to attack the fire from Spenmoor Street while Newlands commenced firefighting in Hurring Place.

The gallant efforts of the crews from the first responding appliances (Newlands in Hurring Place and Tawa in Spenmoor Street) prevented the quickly escalating fire from reaching nearby properties.

A short time after arrival, the incident was made up to a Second Alarm and subsequently upgraded to a Third Alarm requiring more resources. At this stage a number of additional Newlands brigade members, who were at the station, responded to provid man-power assistance.

In all, 85% of the Newlands brigade attended this incident which led to the unusual sight of a number of tired and bleary eyed firefighters walking back to the Newlands station at 2am when they were released from the incident. (They were subsequently picked up and didn't have to walk the entire way).

Rural fire forces took over at the incident and where still patrolling the fire ground the following Monday morning. Newlands returned to the fire ground late on Sunday afternoon to assist with dealing to a re-ignition but were only required for a short time.

For high resolution pictures of the scrub fire please visit www.111emergency.co.nz

All pictures by Derek Quinn