No hot spots found on Mt Alpha but no guarantee fire is out

After five days, firefighters can find no hot spots at the fire site on the side of Mt Alpha, near Wanaka, but warn that does not mean it is out.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand principal rural fire officer Graeme Still would not rule out the possibility of it reigniting, despite reports claiming the fire had been completely extinguished.

"It's not put out; it's just we can't find anything on our [thermal imaging] scans to indicate any hot spots.

"We've done our best to put it out but we only have to miss something the size of a thumbnail that is still smouldering underneath [the ground].''

A drone with thermal imaging equipment had been flying over the fire ground since Friday morning.

Firefighters have continued to patrol the area since the fire began around 3pm last Wednesday.

While only two firefighters remained patrolling the scene yesterday, Mr Still said plans in place made him feel confident crews could react quickly if the fire did reignite.

Temperatures over the weekend were significantly cooler than during the previous week, which Mr Still said had helped fire crews.

Rain is forecast for tonight and later in the week.

The cause of the fire has been investigated and information is likely to be released later this week.

 

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