Multiple blazes in dry Central Otago

Central Otago firefighters had another busy day in the tinder dry region yesterday.

The day started early with Cromwell firefighters extinguished a fire that broke out on the trailer unit of a truck near Northburn, on State Highway 8, at 5.25am.

Firefighters from Ranfurly, Omakau and Blackstone fire brigades were called to a car fire at St Bathans at 1.50pm.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) spokesman said the car had been on its side. Firefighters extinguished the fire and then handed the matter on to police.

Alexandra firefighters extinguished two small vegetation fires in Alexandra.

One was a campfire by the Alexandra boat ramp, at 7.55am.

The other was a grass fire at Letts Gully at 7.55am that burned an area of about 3 sqm.

The fires come after rural fire officer Pete Scarlet, of Alexandra, earlier issued a warning about the risk of fires in Central Otago.

"People really need to be aware of how dry it is, and how easily and fast something like this [a significant blaze] can happen," Mr Scarlet said.

Meanwhile, in Queenstown a  vegetation fire came within four to five metres of a house just off SH6, opposite Hardware Lane yesterday.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand volunteer Ross Malcolm, of Frankton, said about 15 to 20sqm of vegetation caught fire.

Crews from Queenstown and Frankton responded to the incident shortly after 1pm.

A tanker from Arrowtown was also required, the chief officer said.

"It came in about four to five metres from the house so was a positive ending. It looks like there’s been a fire in an old drum from about four weeks ago that has flared up."

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