Firefighters battle blazes in Dunedin, Palmerston North

A scrub fire north of Dunedin has grown from overnight, and more crews are on the way to fight it.

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The felled-pine fire at Bucklands Crossing at Waikouaiti began yesterday after a burn-off from six weeks ago flared up again in high winds.

It grew to cover 16 hectares overnight.

Fire and Emergency shift manager Mau Barbara said crews monitored the blaze overnight, and were back this morning to put it out.

“We got around about 20 personnel responding this morning to do a mop-up job. It‘s deep-seated and the fire crews have to use hand tools to basically dig up the fire and extinguish it.

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Mr Barbara said helicopters were not required to help tackle the blaze at this stage.

Dunedin City Council asked residents in Waikouaiti and Karitane to avoid using garden hoses and sprinklers over the next few days due to the fire.

Fire and Emergency said a nearby pine plantation of about 20ha was not at risk.

Road reopens after Palmerston North fire

A stretch of State Highway 57 east of Palmerston North has been reopened, after a scrub fire yesterday forced its closure overnight.

Firefighters put out the fire by 7pm last night, but unstable trees still posed a risk.

Police said Fitzherbert East Road between Aokautere and State Highway 3 is now safe to drive again.

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