Station owner nervous after blaze

19:22, Aug 04 2014
alistair campbell
CONCERNED: Earnscleugh Station farmer Alistair Campbell is nervous after a large fire ripped through farmland.

The owner of a Central Otago high-country station says a large fire that ripped through farmland has made him extremely nervous.

Alistair Campbell, of Earnscleugh Station, said he had been busy shearing and not had a chance to inspect the damage caused by a fire that burned across 250 hectares near Alexandra on Friday.

"They could not really fight it because the winds were so high. If it had been in summer it would have been an absolute disaster. You would never have put it out. I am extremely nervous after this [fire]."

No stock had been killed or injured in the blaze and the fire was "miles away" from their home, he said.

"It only burned snow grass. At this time of year, stock are not that high. The area will have to be destocked for a year to get it recover. That will be the biggest loss to us."

He believed arcing power lines, caused by gale-force winds, started the fire.

It is understood the Otago Rural Fire Authority is still investigating the cause.

Earnscleugh produces more than 100 tonnes of merino wool annually and also has three cattle and six merino sheep pedigree stud operations involving more than 6000 animals.

Earnscleugh Station extends from the south side of Lake Dunstan to Fruitlands.


The Southland Times