News

Six fires in Piha in two nights

At least six fires in Piha over the past two nights are being investigated as suspicious.

The fires – three on Monday night and three last night – appeared to have been lit deliberately in bush areas off a number of walking tracks on the edge of the regional park. 

“Look there is a trend that we don’t like, we’ve escalated it and we’re investigating it currently,” Piha chief fire officer Ron Gorter said.

The fires were reported as being on the Tasman View Track on Monday night, and early this morning on the Marawhara Walk Track at North Piha and Lion Rock.

Waitemata Police Detective Sergeant Ashley Matthews said there was evidence of more than six fires, with signs of other attempted blazes in the area, too.

“It is concerning, there are a number of fires. They are all scrub fires, some are rather small. The largest one was probably 20m to 30m-squared.”

They were all lit between 11pm and 3am, said Matthews.

Burnt bush from one of the fires in Piha. Photo: Supplied

“We are taking it seriously and putting prevention measures in place, upping our patrols in those areas especially at those times.”

He said a full team was investigating the fires, with eight officers overseen by a detective. Fire Service investigators were also involved. Scene examinations were expected to be completed by the end of today.

“We are asking the community to keep this in mind, if they notice any people out on those tracks by themselves, it’s a bit of an unusual time, so they should report that.”

Scene examinations will be completed by the end of today.

Among the people being spoken to is a film crew currently working in the area.

There will be an increased police presence in the area.

Anyone who has information about the fires or who has seen anything suspicious should call Waitakere police on 09 837 9511, or the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line on 0800 555 111.

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