New footage has captured the incredible natural occurrence of a 'fire tornado' as firefighters continue to battle multiple blazes across Canterbury.
A 1600-hectare fire still burning near the small Lake Ohau Village decimated the area earlier on Sunday after a major forest fire ripped through the Mackenzie Basin. Responders were called to the blaze shortly after 3am.
The video shows smoke billowing from a large, rural area near Lake Ohau, with a tornado emerging through the fumes.
The tornado disappears into the sky shortly after.
Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) says 11 helicopters and seven ground crews are battling the fire at Lake Ohau.
Incident Controller Graeme Still confirmed all residents are accounted for and crews will be in the village overnight in case of any flare-ups. However, due to high winds, it's been deemed "unsafe" for locals to return to their homes and assess the damage.
"I am very mindful of how upsetting it is for the residents. Their safety is our main concern at this time," Still said.
Crews are working to steer the fire away from other structures and critical infrastructure, including the main power lines servicing Queenstown and Wanaka.