Truck on fire on State Highway 1 near Kekerengu, Marlborough video

Gary Jackson

Gary Jackson was following a truck down State Highway 1 from Picton to Christchurch when it caught fire.

State Highway 1 between Blenheim and Kaikoura has re-opened after a truck and trailer caught fire just after 2.30pm on Thursday.

Fire crews from Kaikoura, Ward and Seddon were dispatched to SH1 after the truck caught fire 500 metres north of the Ellerton Overbridge, near Kekerengu.

Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire Authority principal rural fire officer Richard McNamara said the fire spread to scrub, and strong northwesterly winds drove the fire rapidly uphill.

Truck fire near Kekerengu.
MONIQUE CLARK

Truck fire near Kekerengu.

Three helicopters were called to help and trains passing through the area were halted, McNamara said.

READ MORE: Fire breaks out near State Highway 1 

The fire was under control and would be saturated by the fire crews to prevent it flaring up overnight, he said.
Traffic lined up on State Highway 1 after a truck caught fire
LAYLA TURNER

Traffic lined up on State Highway 1 after a truck caught fire

 
He did not know the cause of the fire but said such fires were often caused by locked-up brakes.

Dog trainer Gary Jackson, from Australia, said he watched as the fire grew, with an exploding tyre bouncing across the highway and igniting the dry grass on the hillside opposite.
Fire services dampen down the truck remains.
MONIQUE CLARK

Fire services dampen down the truck remains.

"I saw the whole thing, it was very dramatic," he said. "The driver was great, but the fire just started taking over."

He felt powerless to help after discovering the fire extinguisher on his rental campervan was faulty, Jackson said.
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"If it had worked, it may have been just enough to stop the fire before it got out of control."

 

The remains of a truck that caught fire near Kekerengu.
MONIQUE CLARK

The remains of a truck that caught fire near Kekerengu.

 

 

​Are you in the area?  Send your photos to mailbox@mex.co.nz

 

 

 - The Marlborough Express

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