Cromwell burnoff victim overcome by smoke

22:40, Sep 03 2014

A man who died in a Central Otago rural fire appears to have been overcome by smoke during a controlled burnoff, police say.

He was found dead at a rural burnoff on a property at Northburn, Cromwell, last night.

Senior Constable Chris Blackford, of Queenstown, said today it appeared the man had been caught in smoke when the wind shifted.

A body was recovered by emergency services and police were working to establish the circumstances of the death.

Emergency services were alerted to a serious injury during a controlled burnoff at 6.30pm yesterday.

Paramedics arrived by helicopter to the fire, several kilometres inland from State Highway 8, south of the Cromwell turnoff to Tarras.

Details of the victim will not be released until next of kin have been advised.

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The Southland Times