Fires keep South Island crews busy

Fire crews were kept busy in the South Island through the night with a house fire and a car fire that led to a large bush blaze.

Crews were first called to the car fire, with flames spreading to the hillside at Bealey Spur on Arthurs Pass about 6pm, southern fire communications shift manager Andrew Norris said.

"We had crews there from about 6 o'clock till about 10.30pm, when the Department of Conservation took over."

Fire appliances and a helicopter battled the flames, Mr Norris said.

"It quite a bit of time to get the fire under control or contained."

The fire was not being treated as suspicious.

It was not known how much land was damaged by the flames, but Mr Norris said it was a large area on inaccessible steep land.

Fire crews were later called to a house fire in Timaru.

Occupants of the home woke to find the property ablaze and all escaped unharmed before calling the fire service from a neighbours home.

Mr Norris said crews were called to the "large split-level" house on Temple Crescent Street about 2.15am.

It took about an hour to bring under control and was not considered to be suspicious, he said.

It was not know how many people were in the house, but there were no injuries, Mr Norris said.

- Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ

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