Oreti Beach residents are frustrated and annoyed at the "irresponsible" arsonists that started a car fire, putting their property at risk.
A car fire at Oreti Beach quickly spread to the sand dunes about 1pm yesterday and was a threat to residential housing in the area.
Nearby, beach racing at the Burt Munro Challenge was also delayed by half an hour while Fire and Emergency New Zealand dealt with the callout.
Fenz had initially told residents to prepare to evacuate the area when the fire had grown to about 50m by 30m.
However, a Fenz spokeswoman said they had it under control by 2.45pm and it was no longer a risk to residents.
"I’m grateful the fire department got here when they did, otherwise it may have got worse and spread to my house."
They saw black smoke from their window and went outside to investigate.
They said their neighbour saw three youths fleeing the scene whom the neighbour suspected had started the fire.
The neighbour took pictures of the alleged arsonists and supplied them to the police.
Out of the fires the resident had seen, this was the worst.
They said there was another fire in November last year but it had been further away.
The resident wanted the Invercargill City Council to step up its response to recurring fires in the area.
Another resident said they had raised concerns with the council but they had fallen on deaf ears.
They said about 20 residents lived near the scene of the fire, including many elderly people.
Fenz responded to the callout by sending two helicopters with monsoon buckets and five fire trucks.
The road to the beach had been blocked off at the intersection of Dunn’s Rd and Pitt Rd.
A Hato Hone St John spokeswoman said one operations manager responded to the fire but was not required.