27 Feb 2010

Four-day Otago forest fire slowly being reined in

6:00 pm on 27 February 2010

Firefighters expressed confidence on Saturday that they will soon contain a major forest fire at Mount Allan north-west of Dunedin.

About 80 firefighters and five helicopters are still working on the fire, which has been burning since Tuesday and now covers 820 hectares.

Cooler westerly winds on day three enabled crews to attack what's called the head of the fire.

The Dunedin City Council's principal rural fire officer, Graeme Still, says fire crews are likely to be monitoring the fire's perimeter for at least a month.

Many who've been battling the blaze will get a day off on Sunday, he says.

Houses evacuated as a precaution are now considered safe again.