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A controlled burn as seen from northern Paeroa, on the evening of April 2. Photo: ALICE PARMINTER

Controlled burn in Paeroa ‘spectacular’

A fire in the hills behind Paeroa alarmed residents on April 2, with many taking to social media to ask about the blaze. 

The fire was a controlled burn-off for a local contractor, to clear slash. 

Paeroa Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Paul Jackson said the service was aware of the blaze. 

“It wasn’t threatening any property or anything, it looked pretty spectacular though,” he said. 

“They lit it about ten o’clock in the morning, and we got our first call about five o’clock at night.”

By the time night fell, the fire was visible from many backyards on the north side of Paeroa. Social media commenters said they could see the smoke from as far away as Kerepēhi. 

The fire continued to smoulder for a week, with the brigade reporting more fires in the same location on Monday. 

“Smoke is causing a nuisance so please keep windows closed and pull in any washing while we get on top of it all.” 

A Fire and Emergency Spokesperson said the controlled burn was being undertaken for land management purposes.

“The area is currently in an open fire season, so a fire permit is not required for this type of activity,” they said.