Power lines blamed for fires

There were two separate fires in Central Otago yesterday where one is believed to have been caused by fallen power lines.

A grass fire in the Alexandra area spread across 1500sqm of land yesterday afternoon, before being extinguished by fire crews with three forestry hoses.

Emergency services were called about 2.30pm to the blaze beside Earnscleugh Rd, the back road between Clyde and Alexandra.

Fire Emergency New Zealand southern communications shift manager Daniel Reilly said two crews each from Dunstan and Alexandra were on the scene, and the road was briefly closed.

The fire was extinguished by 3.20pm, and was likely started by a failed lightning arrestor on the power line . Police were at the scene to redirect traffic.

A smaller grass fire, in Naseby, shortly before 6pm, was believed to have been caused by an "arcing power line", a Fenz spokesman said.

The fire was quickly brought under control by crews from Ranfurly and Naseby. 

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