Hero truckie praised for battling Waikato brush fire while firefighters were on the way

A quick-thinking truck driver used a fire extinguisher and his floor mats to fight back a fire which broke out beside a road in Huntly on Saturday.

The fire began on Hetherington Road about midday, and witness Jasmine Brodie pulled her car over to warn other motorists.

"I had to put my hazard lights on to slow people down as you couldn't see to drive through it at some points," Ms Brodie said.

"As I phoned the fire brigade a Fonterra truck came over the hill.

"I have never seen someone act so quickly! He was out of the truck in seconds, got his own extinguisher out of the back and ran to the fire!"

In video shot by Ms Brodie, the driver can be seen emptying his extinguisher on the growing fire, before running back to his truck and grabbing his own floor mats to attempt to beat the fire out.

"Huge respect for Jason (I think this was his name) the Fonterra driver and the fire brigade - Fonterra, you should be proud of drivers like this one helping out a small community," Ms Brodie said.

The truckie in question, identified as Jason Biddulph by commenters, was humble at the praise.

"All in a days work thanks guys," he said.

Fonterra's general manager of national transport and logistics Barry McColl said "we’re really proud of Jason, he did the right thing by pulling over and helping control the situation before the fire service got there.

"As well as picking up our farmers' milk, our tanker teams can play an important part in our communities, helping school kids learn about road safety, providing support at road accidents where they’re often the first on the scene, and in this case fighting fires," Mr McColl said.

"Jason's actions are a demonstration of how quick thinking and the right attitude can help avoid a potentially dangerous situation."

High temperatures at the weekend, combined with the beginning of Guy Fawkes firework sales, led to many brush fires across the country which keep Fire and Emergency New Zealand busy.

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