Ashburton farm fire still raging

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 14:00 03/03/2014
Le Bretons Rd fire
Sam Sherwood
STILL GOING STRONG: Fire crews battle the still-burning farm land on Le Bretons Rd.

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Seven fire crews remain at the scene of a large fire near Ashburton that burned through farm machinery and thousands of hay bales overnight. 

The cause of the fire on Le Bretons Rd, about 19km east of Ashburton, is unlikely to be known until the fire is completely extinguished.

Southern fire communications shift manager Karl Patterson said the fire was reported just after 6pm yesterday.

Firefighters from nine stations - including Rolleston and Timaru - had been called in to help, with seven crews remaining at the farm this afternoon.

Patterson said firefighters were having to pull apart about 2000 smouldering hay bales to make sure the fire was properly extinguished. 

"It's under control - they're just in defensive mode, which means they stand around the outside and squirt water in," he said.

The fire had burned through a shed, a truck and trailer and a tractor, as well as other farm equipment.

Two fire safety officers were at the farm this afternoon to investigate the cause of the blaze and whether it was suspicious.

It was not yet known if the fire was linked to other incidents involving farm property in the Ashburton area recently. 

Four fires were lit within a kilometre of each other on February 22, burning through crop stubble, hay bales, hedges and a shed containing machinery. 

The fires had been deemed suspicious.

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- The Press

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