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Strong winds fan vegetation fires from Southland to Canterbury

Fire and Emergency crews are tackling several vegetation fires around the South Island, fanned by strong winds.

Several helicopters with monsoon buckets and crews from five brigades around Central Otago are working on a fire on Fruitgrowers Road near Alexandra. Police have evacuated people from a nearby freedom camping area.

The fire is understood to have reignited from an earlier fire started by fireworks last night. It is moving uphill and not easy for crews to reach on the ground.

People are being asked to stay away from the area.

At Templeton in the Selwyn District, a fire in a stand of trees about 100m long is now contained and the helicopters have been stood down. Ground crews are now mopping up to ensure the fire is fully extinguished.

And at Glenham in Southland crews from six brigades and a digger are working to contain a fire in a 3 hectare forestry block. Early indications are that that fire may also have reignited from an earlier fire in the area.

People who have lit outdoor fires in the past few days are urged to check that they are fully extinguished, as the strong winds can fan old fires back into life. And anyone considering lighting a fire outdoors needs to go to www.checkitsalright.nz to see whether there are any restrictions in place, as well as to check fire safety advice.


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