News & Notices

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

From the 1st July the Wairarapa Rural Fire District will cease to exist and a new organisation "Fire & Emergency New Zealand" will be formed. This new organisation is amalgamating all urban and rural fire fighters under 1 organisation.

You the public probably won't notice any change as on the 1st July we will still respond to all your emergencies as we previously did.

What you may notice is we are getting a new logo! Here is said logo with some information about why it was chosen


The logo uses the internationally recognised Battenberg chequered pattern- shorthand for emergency services.

The colours of the new logo bring together the red and yellow from urban and rural fire appliances. The blue provides authority and calm

The logo begins with the word “FIRE” for quick reference in an emergency

Personnel and the public said it made sense to lose the ‘and’ in Fire and Emergency to keep the logo simple.

Personnel and public interviewed said the new logo was more relevant without the crown  

4 Wheel Drive Training

WRFD has run a series of 4 wheel drive courses for 15 appliance drivers from both rural and urban fire. Andrew Simpson (Simmo) from CARNZ Training Ltd was the instructor.

The course consisted of a day of theory and then a practical day of driving, the practical driving was conducted in the one of the JNL forests on the 4 and 5 August, many thanks to JNL for the opportunity to do this.

All the participants come away with new found knowledge on how to get the most out of the modern technology incorporated into modern 4 wheel drive vehicles


New water tank for Lake Ferry Voluntary Rural Fire Force

For rural fire fighting emergencies and training the Lake Ferry Rural Fire Force fills their appliance from local streams and water supplies.  In summer months these dry up.  With firefighters returning from calls at all hours of the day and night, the struggle to locate a suitable water supply and the time this takes is frustrating for the crew.

Thanks to support from the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund, a 25,000 litre water tank has been fitted to the Fire Depot at Lake Ferry.  This water tank now provides access to a reliable water source for firefighting in the area and for volunteer training.

Dave Sinton, Fonterra Area Manager, presented the cheque to Phill Wishnowsky, Wairarapa Rural Fire District PRFO at an “opening the valve” ceremony on Sunday.

They were joined by WRFD board members and members of the Lake Ferry Voluntary Rural Fire Force.

Makoura Community Early Childhood Centre Inc

The new Mauriceville VRFF appliance had it first outing with a visit to the Makoura Community Early Childhood Centre.

Both the teachers and kids enjoyed squirting a bit of water around and checking the appliance out

Grass fire rages through Carterton field

Fire crews were confronted with 2m flames as helicopters arrived with monsoon buckets to contain a 7-hectare blaze on a rural property in Carterton yesterday.

Deputy principal rural fire officer Grant Davies said a Wilton Rd property lessee had been cutting hay when the mower blade hit a stone, sparking a fire around 1.30pm.

Mr Davies said six fire crews from Carterton, Masterton and Greytown attended, backed up by forestry crews, adding up to "30-plus" people on the ground in 31C heat for about an hour.

With the Amalgamated Helicopters "living just across the road", two helicopters were quickly on the scene with monsoon buckets.

"What we've got here was a fast-moving grass fire that's burnt about 18 acres, according to the owner," he said,

"There was a good wind behind it and it's managed to jump Wiltons Rd and into the next paddock but thankfully that's been chewed out."

"When I arrived it was out at the far end of the paddock and within 30 seconds to a minute it had jumped the road.

"It moves quick -- it spread a good 200m in the matter of a minute. We had flame heights over 2m, and it was fair going for it."

Forty-eight Watson & Son beehives were in the paddock at the time of the blaze but none were damaged. The hives were moved last night.

Mr Davies said he couldn't stress enough to the public to be aware of potential fire risks in the dry season.

"We have put the message out there already -- you shouldn't be topping paddocks and things in the heat of the day," he said.

"The whole Wairarapa rural district went into a complete fire ban three days ago because things are really dry and there's no significant rain forecast until April so we've got a month of this ahead of us."

Fire Service assistant area commander Matthew Abel came in from Upper Hutt to assess the fire.

"If you absolutely need to do baling or hay cutting, early in the morning is the way to go -- you can see the devastating results here," he said.

"Eighteen acres of burnt land is unproductive for quite some time.

"Fortunately it didn't spread too far.

"With the grass the way it is -- so dry, it doesn't take much to set fire and spread."

The lessee and property owner declined to comment.

Wairarapa Times-Age

By Emily Norman

DOC Crew leader Certificate presentation 29-1-16

Congratulations to David Titchener and Briggs Pilkington from the Department of Conservation who were presented with their Rural Fire Crew Leaders Certificate by Principal Rural Fire Officer Phill Wishnowsky.

A crew leader takes the role of leading a firefighting crew at a vegetation fire, if it is a small incident the crew leader could also be the incident controller.

Crew leaders are trained to a level where they can make informed decisions to safety compete the rural fire fighting tasks they are undertaking and to ensure the crew under their management is effective and comes home safely.

Lake Ferry whanau day

Onoke Alive, A whanau day at Lake Ferry on December 12 saw Father Christmas arrive on the lake Ferry Rural Fire Appliance.

Whareama Fire Started 27/11/15

Fire crews using helicopters with monsoon buckets are battling a forest fire east of Masterton which is now burning into its fourth day.
As of last night the fire was burning over nearly 200ha of private land among pine trees grown for harvesting by Juken New Zealand.
One hundred and twenty firefighters and eight helicopters with monsoon buckets have been called in -- some from outside Wairarapa -- to assist with quelling the blaze which started at 9.30 on Friday morning.
Yesterday afternoon the fire had been contained within a circular boundary "but that's not to say it's under control", said Dave Hilliard, general manager forests for Juken New Zealand.
"The wind is constantly changing. At the moment it is benign but it's because the humidity is up and the temperature's down with the southerly change. But of course the weather forecast is for hot temperatures and low humidity for the coming week so there is likely to be re-ignition in places."
The blaze is being managed by the National Incident Management Team and numerous fire engines, bulldozers and excavators are being used to try to contain it. Firefighters from Wellington and Ruapehu are among the battling crews and firefighters from Gisborne were travelling to the scene yesterday afternoon to help.

Forest Fire

Another busy week for WRFD, Tuesday 20 October saw a call to a forest fire on the Bideford Road where an excavator had a problem and set fire to the surrounding pine plantation.

The plantation was on a very steep slope with a thick layer of fuel on the ground from thinning and gorse. Which resulted in a fast spreading fire with crowning in the centre strip

The fire was attended by three crews from NZFS, Mauriceville VRFF, the Carterton tanker, Wichman Silver culture crews, 2 helicopters from Amalgamated helicopters and 1 from Wairarapa Helicopters.

While the main fire was contained late on Tuesday evening, ground crews from DoC and Wairarapa Silver Culture were at work all day Wednesday working on hot spots and digging out stumps with the fire being handed back to the owner on Thursday midday

Erindale Fire 7/10/15

Erindale Fire

Wednesday 7 October saw a notification of a fire in a forestry block on the Masterton Castlepoint Road just over the Big Saddle.

Masterton NZFS 617 and RFO3 were first on site, the weather conditions were not good with winds in excess of 80Kph. The terrain was steep and the fire quickly spread to consume over 50 hectares of slash, standing trees and replanted slopes in the next 24hours before it was contained.

Crews from Tinui, Castlepoint along with contract forestry personal have been used to help contain and control this fire. Three large skid sites with deep seated fires have been worked on for the last 12 days with heavy machinery,  with progress being made today to put the last one out.