Three fire crews from Cromwell, Luggate and Tarras, and a helicopter from Dunstan with additional firefighters, have been called to a Cromwell area blaze that is ''burning well'', a fire spokesman says.
More than 25 firefighters are on the ground on Lowburn Valley Rd, after being alerted to the 1200sqm blaze in a a rural housing area, just before 5pm.
The spokesman said the fire was highly visible and calls had come in from around the district.
Just before 6pm the spokesman said the fire was still ''burning well''.
Visitor Neville Bryant said fire brigades arrived just in time.
''It could have been disastrous; [the fire] came within five metres of the grapevines. I'm pleased they arived when they did because several houses would have threatened.''
The cause of the fire was believed to be hot ashes.
Firefighters were also battling strong winds.
- © Fairfax NZ News