Spate of fires keeps brigades on alert
A number of blazes kept firefighters busy across Canterbury yesterday, including a grass fire in Waterloo Rd in Hornby.
Two tanker crews fought the fire, which started about 2pm, and called for backup.
The region's massive day of firefighting started at 3.30am, with a section of riverbed damaged by fire in Swannanoa, between Rangiora and Cust.
Fire Service acting assistant area commander Mike Bowden said a lightning strike was suspected in two scrub fires in North Canterbury in the early hours.
"To have conditions where lightning strike can start a fire is not a common occurrence for Canterbury," Bowden said.
At 1.30pm firefighters were called to a garage fire in Hoskyns Rd, Rolleston.
One person was reported with minor injuries.
A grass fire also broke out about 1.35pm in Lunns Rd, behind Hamilton Jet, and was doused by Sockburn firefighters.
A road in Ashburton was closed after gusts left a power pole on a lean about 1.30pm.
A Fire Service spokesman said the pole in Kermode St was "leaning over the road".
The street was closed as a precaution.
Meanwhile, a fire at a red-zoned Dallington property early yesterday was being treated as suspicious.
Southern fire communications manager Andrew Norris said firefighters were called to the Locksley Ave address about 3.35am.
A car fire had spread to a fence and flames were "licking" at the house, he said.
Norris said the fire had been referred to the police for investigation. The house was in the red zone but still occupied, he said.
Firefighters also dealt with small vegetation fires near Telegraph Rd, Charing Cross, at 11am, and Bridge Rd, near Rangiora, at noon.