Calls for army to pick up the bill

Last updated 14:09 23/01/2013

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Central Canterbury News

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Fire crews and helicopters rushed to West Melton on Monday to battle another scrub fire near Old West Coast Rd.

By early evening however, the blaze had been brought under control. The New Zealand Defence Force has since admitted activity at its firing range may have caused the fire.

Army personnel were using grenades and live ammunition during a training exercise at the West Melton range.

Some resident have called for prosecution of the army.

An army spokesperson said the fire did break out while training was underway, and an internal investigation would take place as to the cause of the blaze.

The fire came dangerously close to some homes and people were evacuated as a precautionary measure mid-afternoon.

There were no reports of damage to homes.

The temperature in Christchurch was 29 degrees Celsius and emergency services were concerned about winds picking up later in the afternoon.

The blaze came in the wake of serious fires in the area in the last two weeks.

Emergency services are once again urging caution in hot, dry conditions.

Did you take some photos of the fire? Email your photos to


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