Big forest fire near Dunedin

Big forest fire near Dunedin 

23 February 2010

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A forest fire burning on Mount Allan has been sending smoke across Dunedin, 20 kilometres away.

Firefighters are battling the blaze on the ground with the help of eight helicopters at work over the flames.

It started in high temperatures on Tuesday afternoon and by the evening had already burned through more than 30 hectares.

Ground crew are being restricted by the dangerous conditions and the difficulty accessing the steep and rocky terrain.

Strong winds have seen the fire spread quickly – jumping up to 300 metres at a time.

The Fire Service expects it will take a few days before the fire is properly under control. Helicopters will be mainly used to stem the flames in the meantime.

Nearby residents have been evacuated as a precaution but there is no direct threat to homes.

The Taieri Gorge train was held up by the fire but has since returned to Dunedin.


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