31 Dec 2016

Marlborough scrub fires treated as suspicious

8:46 pm on 31 December 2016

A cluster of scrub fires near Blenheim's Wither Hills Farm Park is being treated as suspicious.

Fire Service spokesperson Brent Dunn said the three "sets" of fires broke out this afternoon and were treated as a single large blaze.

Three helicopters and seven fire crews were used to bring them under control.

If you would like to share pictures or video of the fire with us, please email to: iwitness@radionz.co.nz

He said this evening that the fires had been put out, and a rural fire investigator was at the site.

There have been at least two other large vegetation fires in the area in the last two years.

Firefighters have been kept busy dampening down hotspots

Firefighters at the scene of a fire in the Wither Hills in March 2016. Photo: Marlborough District Council

In March, a fire - which emergency services said was deliberately lit - scorched five hectares of dry grass. A second fire was caught before it could spread.

In October 2014, a fire in a pine plantation burned seven hectares before it was contained.

Second fire in Far North

Meanwhile, two helicopters with monsoon buckets have managed to contain a fire in a forestry area in the Far North.

The fire burnt through eight hectares of harvested forestry debris on a hill face.

The Fire Service said three crews would remain there overnight to keep an eye on it.

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