Canterbury fires still 'very active', FENZ urges public to stay away

Hot and dry conditions in north Canterbury are causing flare-ups along the Ashley River fire ground.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) says both fires are still contained but not under control.

"This is a good reminder that the fires are still very active and that the public need to stay away from the fire grounds to allow our crews to work safely," FENZ Canterbury said on Facebook.

One of the blazes reached 100 hectares on Monday and firefighters were pushed to the limits as heat and high winds fuelled the flames.

FENZ says the weather conditions on Tuesday are concerning. A wind change and the risk of falling trees are expected to make the situation difficult for firefighters.

"Crews are working hard today [Tuesday] to strengthen the containment lines," the Facebook post says.

The good news is rain is on the way - but whether it will be enough is another question.

"It's going to be a smaller amount [of rain]," MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris told Newshub.

Earlier on Tuesday, principal rural fire officer Bruce Janes said the current Canterbury fire conditions were unlike anything he'd seen before. 

"I haven't seen fire behaviour in New Zealand like this in my career - not with these types of fuels," he told The AM Show.