The Far North's top firefighter is urging Kawakawa residents to report every fire, no matter how small, to help police track down the culprits behind a series of arson attacks.
Last Friday a deliberately lit fire destroyed a shed next to the town pool containing 40 years' worth of Swimming Northland records; on Tuesday night this week another fire damaged the VIP Superette on Kawakawa's main street. The arsons follow a series of mostly minor fires in Kawakawa and Moerewa over the past two months.
Fire Service Muriwhenua area manager Allan Kerrisk urged townsfolk to report every fire - even if it was already out or so small the brigade wasn't needed - to Kawakawa police or fire chief Wayne Martin.
"It doesn't matter how small the fires are, knowing about them will give us a better indication if there's someone out there with a problem. We're obviously concerned about the repeated fires, especially with two so close together, but police are working to identify the culprits and will take a hard line with them."
Mr Kerrisk said he had had an excellent response from Kawakawa business owners when he went door-to-door this week offering fire safety advice and urging them to remove anything that could be easily lit. He also advised them to lock rubbish bins and move them away from buildings.
He had asked the company responsible for collecting waste cardboard to empty its bins more frequently.
"The Kawakawa community is fighting back. They're saying these fires aren't acceptable in their town," he said.