19 Jan 2015

Marlborough scrub fire under control

5:56 pm on 19 January 2015

A large scrub fire that closed State Highway One in Seddon is now under control.

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Smoke drifts across State Highway One due to a scrub fire near Seddon. Photo: NZ Police

The fire, which began at midday, took just a few hours to destroy nearly 40 acres of grassland in the tinder-dry Dashwood Pass on the eastern side of State Highway One.

Firefighters said they were confident they had contained the perimeter of the fire.

The seven aircraft that had been deployed to fight the fire with monsoon buckets had now been stood down.

Marlborough Principal Rural Fire Officer Richard McNamara said two overnight fire crews would remain at the scene and crews from South Canterbury and Nelson were also travelling to Marlborough to help with the mop up over the coming days.

Mr McNamara said while there was no imminent threat to nearby properties, the dry and windy conditions meant hot spots could reignite the fire at any time.

All trains on the main railway line had been stopped near Seddon in Marlborough due to the fire, earlier today.

A KiwiRail spokesperson said the return journey of the Coastal Pacific passenger service was affected but no freight movements were scheduled until tonight.

State Highway One, which had been closed earlier due to smoke from the fire blowing across the road, had now reopened.

The cause of the fire was still unknown.

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