Major scrub fire near Rolleston

Last updated 17:21 18/02/2014
Helicopter fights flamesd
Dean Kozanic

AERIAL ATTACK: A helicopter was brought in to douse the flames.

Clouds of smoke
Emily Mallon
THICK: Clouds of smoke pour into the air.

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Mid Canterbury Selwyn

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Firefighters have been battling a large scrub fire near Rolleston.

The fire began on Knights Rd and engulfed a hedge before it leapt over Newtons Rd and burned through a paddock.

Firefighters, with the help of a helicopter carrying a monsoon bucket, were able to put out the fire before it spread to a nearby house.

Knights Rd resident Emily Mallon, 20, said a neighbour saw the fire start after a truck back-fired.

"He was driving behind an old truck [that] back-fired, and that started the fire," she said.

With temperatures soaring into the 30s across Christchurch today, Mallon said it was "10 times hotter" near the fire.

In the 10 years Mallon and her family have lived on Knights Rd, she said this was the first fire on their road.


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The fire is understood to be 1.5km by 700m in size, near Newtons and Knights roads.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS FOR SELWYN

Earlier today, a restricted fire season was announced for Selwyn, to begin at 8pm Thursday.

Selwyn Principal Rural Fire Officer Wilson Brown said the fire risk had increased over the past few weeks as weather conditions became dryer.

"Overall the district is now very dry and the forecast for the coming weeks does not include any significant rainfall so it's appropriate that we move to a restricted fire season to reduce the fire danger," Brown said.

The restrictions mean only gas barbeques, crop residue and rubbish fires inside contained drums are allowed in rural areas of Selwyn. Any other fires can only be lit if a permit is obtained from Selwyn District Council."

Fire Services have noticed people lighting pit fires to burn debris over the past couple of weeks - these fires are not allowed in a restricted fire season without a fire permit as they can easily escape from the pit," Brown said.

Further information on the restrictions can be found on the Selwyn District Council website www.selwyn.govt.nz/fire

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