Burn off gets out of control

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 09:22 01/07/2014
monsoon
NICOLE GOURLEY/ Fairfax NZ
HELP FROM ABOVE: A helicopter with a monsoon bucket helps firefighters tackle a fire in a pine plantation near Lumsden.

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Fire crews were to return to the site of a fire in a pine plantation near Lumsden this morning.

A controlled burn spread to the 40-hectare plantation about 1pm yesterday and kept fire crews from Lumsden, Athol and Drummond at the scene until dark.

Two helicopters helped contain the fire, using water from a nearby creek.

Southern Rural Fire Authority community and education co-ordinator Sally Chesterfield said crews would return this morning to mop up.

The incident has prompted a warning from fire authorities.

Despite winter being a good time for controlled burning, care still needed to be taken, Chesterfield said.

"Although it feels quite wet underfoot it is deceiving as fine vegetation dries out quickly, this has caught a few people out over the past couple of days," she said.

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