Northburn fire victim named

Police have today released the name of the man who died in a vegetation fire on Northburn Station, near Cromwell, on Wednesday night.

He was 52-year-old Peter Gerard Grayland, of Alexandra.

Mr Grayland was part of a two-man team conducting a controlled burn-off at the station on Wednesday afternoon.

He was working alone when his co-worker lost contact with him, police said today

The co-worker became concerned and emergency services were called.

Yesterday, principal rural fire officer for the Otago region Dr Stephanie Rotarangi said fire crews were called out to the burn-off about 6.30pm.

''We sent some volunteer firefighters to check it out and ambo was also dispatched shortly after and we just assisted police with their inquiries.''

Police today said there were no suspicious circumstances; however they were investigating on behalf of the coroner.

The 12,500ha Northburn Station property is owned by Tom and Jan Pinckney, who farm merino sheep and, until recently, operated a 23ha vineyard and restaurant along the road between Cromwell and Tarras.

An open fire season is in force at present, allowing farmers to burn vegetation on their properties without first obtaining a permit.


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