Residents flee Wellington scrub fire

A large scrub fire in a Wellington suburb which threatened up to 30 houses and forced the evacuation of up to 70 residents was under control this morning.

Fire Service assistant area manager for Wellington Brett Lockyer said the blaze overnight covered about 50 hectares in Happy Valley.

About 30 houses had to be evacuated as the fire threatened to spread.

Up to 70 residents were forced to flee, many of whom spent the night in an emergency evacuation centre at Happy Valley School.

Mr Lockyer said three helicopters with monsoon buckets were used to fight the fire.

"At the height of the fire there was a lot of work and it was a fast-burning fire but at this stage there's been a change in wind direction which has assisted us - moving the fire away from the houses - and the fire crews are making good progress. It is safe to say the fire is under control."

The blaze is thought to have started about 2am.

Mr Lockyer said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

The scene of the fire is close to the city's landfill.

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