Extra firefighters sent to Chatham Island as wildfire continues to burn

A mega wildfire on Chatham Island is now burning through a Department of Conservation (DoC) Reserve.

Specialist rural firefighters from Wellington have joined the battle to contain the blaze, which has consumed more than 2000 hectares of land.

Drone footage reveals the full extent of the huge wildfire tearing across Chatham Island.

The fire front is still burning fiercely, out of control, leaving behind kilometre after kilometre of burnt and blackened land.

A team of specialist rural firefighters departed Wellington on Saturday afternoon to bolster local crews. 

They've been told they could be there for up to two weeks, and it poses even more challenges than fighting fire on the mainland.

"If we need additional assets we push a button on our truck and they magically appear," said Craig Cottrill, principle rural fire officer.

"This fire has now been burning for two days and additional firefighters are not coming in until now, and it's just the isolation is a bit of an issue."

The Air Force conducted an aerial survey, showing the scale and spread of the fire.

On Saturday afternoon two helicopters with monsoon buckets joined the operation. They hope to get it under control on Sunday, but it'll take much longer to dampen down hotspots and ensure there are no flare ups.

Chatham Island resident Robbie Lanauze filmed the fire and says locals are concerned about the damage to native bush.

"It's moving really fast; the wind's been pushing it along.

"It's burned large pockets of bush and shrub right up to the back coast. It's wiped out probably about a third of the back country."

Nineteen homes were asked to evacuate on Friday, though the risk to property has passed for now as a southerly change brought cooler temperature and rain.

The latest concern is that the fire has now reached a DoC reserve, although the island's ancient Moriori tree carvings are not at risk.

Two further crews from Auckland are on standby to depart on Monday if required.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand says the cause of the blaze is not yet known, but an investigation is now underway.