Company wants tougher fire-prevention rules
Friday 12 Jul 2019
The fire started in Pigeon Valley in the Nelson region on 5 February by a tractor tilling a dry field. It is thought that farm machinery sparked against a stone, sparking the blaze which grew to become New Zealand’s largest since 1955.
It raced across 2300 hectares of rolling, rural land, including 1400 hectares of trees owned by Tasman Pine Forests. Almost two weeks later 55 properties were damaged, with losses reaching NZ$30 million, and more than 3000 people had been evacuated from their homes. Fire-fighting and evacuation costs reached NZ$50 million.
Tasman Pine Forests boss Steve Chandler was only a month into the job when he looked out of his Spring Grove office window in February this year, and saw the hills ablaze.
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