Porirua vegetation fire shuts part of Belmont Regional Park

8:51 pm on 12 February 2024
Generic fire truck.

(file image) Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

A seven hectare large fire in Belmont Regional Park in Porirua is now under control.

FENZ incident controller Craig Cottrill told RNZ "we're just going through mopping hotspots with ground crews - and a couple of helicopters are working on steeper terrain."

Cottrill said a fire investigator would visit the scene first thing tomorrow morning.

"It's probable that it may have been started by somebody down the back of the college up to something with some form of ignition.

"A fire investigator will get a better idea of that tomorrow."

Police were alerted to the fire at 2.35pm on Driver Crescent, Cannons Creek. They said they assisted with cordons and the evacuation of two schools nearby.

Fire and Emergency (FENZ) said 16 trucks and tankers and two helicopters were responding to the fire.

No properties or structures were under threat, it said.

The parts of the regional park now shut include Māra Roa and Waihora Loop tracks on the western side.

Households and workplaces in the area of the fire have been advised to close windows and doors, and turn off ventilation systems or change them to re-circulate. Anyone in the vicinity is advised to keep out of the smoke.

Fire and Emergency also asked people not to fly drones in the area as helicopters were operating.

"No drones have been seen, but if they are, this will mean the helicopters have to be grounded until the drone ceases flying," FENZ said in a Facebook post.

Greater Wellington environment group delivery director Jack Mace said park rangers were working closely with FENZ and police as their teams worked to bring the fire under control.

About 48 firefighters, 10 firetrucks and two helicopters and heavy machinery would continue work to extinguish the fire this evening, said FENZ.

Crews will also remain at the site overnight.

Anyone exposed to the smoke and feeling unwell should contact Healthline 0800 611 116 or ring their GP for advice and support.