Cause of 250ha fire investigated

Firefighters survey the scene of  the fire above the Fruitlands area on Friday. Photo by Leith...
Firefighters survey the scene of the fire above the Fruitlands area on Friday. Photo by Leith Huffadine.
An investigation is under way into a fire that burnt about 250ha of farmland on the Old Man Range on Friday.

A fire investigator was inspecting the scene on Saturday, after the blaze was dampened by rain.

Otago principal rural fire officer Stephanie Rotarangi

did not want to comment on a possible cause of the fire, but said the scene would be monitored over coming days and weeks for hot spots.

Emergency services were called to the fire, which started near Symes Rd, above State Highway 8 in the Fruitlands area, just after noon on Friday.

However, due to winds exceeding 100kmh, and challenges accessing the terrain where the fire was, fire crews and a helicopter could not fight it.

The fire had burnt southwards on more than one front through Friday afternoon and evening.

It had not threatened any properties.

Firefighters were stood down on Friday night while rural fire officers had remained to monitor the scene, before rain on Saturday morning helped put the fire out.

Although an Earnscleugh Station worker at the scene of the fire initially held concerns for livestock, when the station was contacted yesterday, no stock had been reported harmed.

The station had a ''no-burn policy''.

-leith.huffadine@odt.co.nz

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