Pukerua Bay Scrub Fire closes
SH1 and Main Trunk railway

A large scrub fire north of Pukerua Bay caused the closure of State Highway One and the Main Trunk Railway line on and off for four hours this morning.

The fire, apparently originating near the railway line, posed difficult firefighting problems. As vegetation burned large rocks were sent rolling down the very steep hill onto State Highway One, forcing its closure and creating major traffic disruption. For this reason and because of dangerously swirling winds helicopters were called in to extinguish the main fire, filling their monsoon buckets directly from the sea.

Chief Fire Officer Mike Smith of the Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade says that the fire, while not excessively large at approximately one hectare, was difficult to deal with. "We tried to manage this incident so that disruption to the travelling public was minimised, but safety concerns forced the road and rail closures" he says.

Fire appliances from Plimmerton, Paekakariki and Porirua were in attendance, along with the regional Fire Command Unit, the Hutt Rural Fire Force and the Wellington Bush Firefighting Force.