22 Feb 2011

Cigarette may be to blame for island sanctuary fire

12:16 pm on 22 February 2011

A fire on Kapiti Island, near Wellington, is thought to have started from a discarded cigarette.

The fire began at Rangatira Point where visitor boats dock, shortly after the last boat left at 3pm on Friday.

The Department of Conservation says two Kapiti Coastguard crews and three fire crews were sent to fight the blaze, which was brought under control by 5pm.

DoC says the fire covered about 25 square metres of the island, which is considered one of New Zealand's most important native bird recovery sites.