Inferno tears through South Auckland scrap car yard

A massive fire raging at a south Auckland scrap car yard could burn all day, Fire and Emergency New Zealand says.

Emergency services were called to Sims Pacific Metals on James Fletcher Drive in Favona just before 2am.

Fire Emergency NZ  says more than 80 firefighters and 20 fire trucks are at the site. 

Area commander Geoff Purcell says the fire is in a 1600-tonne pile of scrap metal, which includes old cars parts, roofing and tyres. 

"It's a huge fire and there's a lot of really thick, black smoke coming from it," he says. 

"We are doing everything we can to get this fire under control, and our crews are working extremely hard. 

"But because of the sheer size of the fire and the fact it's very deep-seated, we expect it to burn for most of the day." 

The fire is expected to cause significant disruption to traffic and people should avoid the area if they can and close their windows from the smoke, Fire Emergency NZ says.

There are road closures in place on James Fletcher Drive, between Savill Drive and Kaka Street. 

It's not yet clear how the fire started.