Firefighters have contained a 100 hectare blaze that tore through grass and farmland at Hororata in mid-Canterbury, Fire and Emergency says.
The crews of five helicopters, 15 fire engines and rural water tankers spent at least three hours battling the blaze, which spread through paddocks near Hororata.
The fire service assistant area commander Steve Kennedy said the fire was now under control, although his team were waiting to see if the weather changed.
Mr Kennedy said about six households have been evacuated, but he hoped they would return soon.
The fire spread through dry paddocks, grasslands and hedgerows.
No one was injured fighting the blaze.
Resident Richard Brading said trees and fences were damaged.
"The missus has gone with the kids and cat and the dog and I just stayed back here ... just put a bit of water down and see if it stops it. It sort of worked. Saved the chickens. They're all right.
"House is still here. Everyone's safe, animals are alive."
Fire and emergency regional manager Richard McNamara said the wind was expected to change, which could push the fire into barley paddocks.
He said property had been lost, but he could not say how much or what type of property. Crews saved houses but some outlying buildings were lost, he said.
A fire and emergency spokesman said it had taken out a shed and some hedges.
Hororata Canterbury blaze contained. Crews will keep on top of things overnight and tomorrow. Thanks to all our firefighters keeping property and people safe. Merry Christmas.— Fire and EmergencyNZ (@FireEmergencyNZ) December 25, 2017
The spokesman said fire and emergency services was called to the fire just after 1pm.