11 Apr 2018

Thames-Coromandel mill blaze fuelled by weather, materials

1:22 pm on 11 April 2018

A fire at a mill in Matatoki, south of Thames, has burned for several hours kept alight by wood chips and high winds.

About 50 fire officers fought the large fire which broke out at Paeroa Kopu Road in the industrial area of Matatoki in the Thames-Coromandel district overnight.

About 20 fire trucks and vehicles were sent, after being notified of the blaze at recycling business Smart Environmental Limited about 9.20pm.

The Fire Service said large piles of wood chips had been helping to fuel the fire and high winds have been making it difficult to bring under control.

Fire crews from Thames, Ngatea and the Bay of Plenty were at the scene.

The Thames area fire commander, Aaron Waterreus, told Morning Report weather played a role in the fire's spread.

The fire is now under control. About 25 firefighters were expected to remain on the scene, taking a full day to fully extinguish the fire.