Wakanui blaze still burning

Firefighters from Mid Canterbury and surrounding districts are still battling a Wakanui blaze that began about 6pm last night.

Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Alan Burgess said more than 2500 hay bales and a hay shed have been destroyed in the Le Bretons Road fire along with farming equipment including a truck and trailer and a header.

Mr Burgess said the overnight southerly change posed an issue for firefighters as the wind fanned flames towards a stack of unburned hay, however the rain did provide some relief.

Fire crews from Ashburton, Methven, Rakaia, Rolleston, Christchurch Geraldine, Temuka and Timaru along with local rural fire forces have been on rotation at the fire which has now been burning for more than 15 hours.

The Timaru command unit has been asked to man the scene.

Mr Burgess said he expected fire crews to be at the scene for most of the day.

It is not yet known what caused the blaze.

The Salvation Army was called to the scene last night to ensure firefighters were kept fed.

The fire comes just days after a series of fires in hay bales and a hay shed, in rural areas surrounding Tinwald, which had police on the hunt for arsonists, after it was determined they were deliberately lit.

They occurred eight days prior and Mr Burgess said it was too early to say whether there was any link between those fires, and last night's.

- Ashburton Guardian

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