Southland fire crews battling huge blaze near Te Anau

Southland fire crews battling huge blaze near Te Anau
Photo credit: Getty

A burn-off that got out of control in Southland is now a major blaze, being battled by multiple fire crews and helicopters.

It started as a burn-off on farm land yesterday at Mt Prospect, 10km west of Te Anau.

However, it's now scorched 1315 hectares of farm and conservation land.

Nine helicopters tackled the blaze on Friday night, and six helicopters as well as urban and rural fire crews are still at the scene on Saturday.

Principal rural fire officer Elton Smith says while no residential properties have been affected, some businesses have.

"The fire has affected a number of adjoining properties, including some smaller pine plantations and some conservation area.

"The fire [on Friday] also briefly threatened the [radio transmitter] on Mt Prospect."

Good progress has been made today, Mr Smith says, with weather conditions working in their favour.

"Yesterday we were hampered by very strong nor'west winds. Today the weather is very calm which is allowing us to get on top of things."

Mr Smith says this is an example of a burn-off gone wrong.

"This controlled burn was lit in weather conditions that were completely inappropriate.

"People that are looking at doing prescribed burns really need to be looking at good weather forecast, have good planning about what they're doing and unfortunately in this case that wasn't what happened."

A helicopter is flying over the region to identify hot spots.