Truck on fire on State Highway 1 near Kekerengu, Marlborough
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.
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
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.
"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.
"If it had worked, it may have been just enough to stop the fire before it got out of control."
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- The Marlborough Express