Massive farm fire extinguished

Firefighters have finally left the scene of a large farm fire in Wakanui - 26 hours after it ignited.

Crews from as far away as Timaru, Temuka and Geraldine attended the fire on Le Bretons Rd about 8.30pm on Sunday. They joined Ashburton district brigades and rural fire crews, along with crews from Christchurch and Rolleston.

The fire destroyed ''several thousand'' bales of hay and throughout yesterday was threatening thousands more. An implement shed, wool shed and farm machinery were also destroyed.

The majority of hay was put out in a paddock where an irrigator was used to spray it, Assistant Area Commander Steven Greenyer said.

There were 19 fire engines and tankers working off and on at the scene, with 10 on site at once during the peak of the fire.

The last remaining brigades at the scene were finally able to leave at 8pm last night, Mr Greenyer said.

Ashburton, Rakaia, Methven and Pendarves crews were among the last on the scene.

Fears were mounting early last night that forecasted strong winds would fan the fire, reigniting hot spots. However, that did not happen.

''There was no sign of any smoke when they left. So, we consider the fire out at this stage.''

The Timaru Herald