Choppers called in to fight fire north of Dunedin

Three helicopters have been called in to help fight a large gorse fire north of Dunedin this afternoon.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokeswoman said wind and hot weather were contributing to the blaze, close to State Highway 1 south of Waikouaiti, that about 2pm covered 3ha.

Helicopters were helping to fight the fire on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Simon White
Helicopters were helping to fight the fire on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Simon White

"At this stage" no properties had been compromised, but there were houses in the area.

The fire was not under control yet, the spokeswoman said.

Photo: Simon White
Photo: Simon White
It was not yet in any of the substantial forests nearby.

Crews from Waikouaiti, Palmerston, Hampden, Willowbank and Waitati and a Dunedin command unit were responding, and the choppers were using monsoon buckets to dump water on the blaze.

Four trucks and at least four tankers at the scene were looking at ‘‘throwing some decent water on it’’, she said. 

An Otago Daily Times reporter at the scene about 3pm said the blaze looked to be contained in a gully on the western side of the highway. Flames were visible from the road.



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