A scrub fire in Waimakariri this morning is thought to have started after several cars were set on fire.
Fire crews were called to Burnt Hill at 12.30am and managed to get the fire under control by 4am.
The vegetation fire was believed to have been started when a few cars were set alight on the riverbed, said Oxford volunteer fire brigade chief fire officer Trevor Ealam.
"It was basically gorse," he said. "It was set alight by a couple of cars that were torched out there.
"It was as dry as anything. Access to water was a problem. We had to travel a fair way to get water. It was about three or four kilometres and the trace was very very rough, and it was a one way road. It was slow to get in and out. We had to send two or three trucks at a time to get water and then wait for them to come back."
Waimakariri chief fire officer Tim Sheppard said the fire covered abut three hectares of land.
"We were very fortunate there was no wind. If there had been wind it would still be going."
He said the fire was being treated as suspicious and crews were still working to dampen down hotspots.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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