An "absolutely massive" fire at a wrecking yard in the Auckland suburb of Papakura is now under control, emergency services confirmed on Thursday.
The blaze ignited at a scrap metal dealer, Global Metal Solutions, on Hunua Road in the south Auckland suburb on Wednesday morning. Billowing clouds of dense, black smoke prompted authorities to issue an emergency alert to the mobiles of people in the vicinity, warning locals to avoid the thick smog.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) confirmed to Newshub early on Thursday morning that the blaze is now under control.
A couple of firetrucks remained at the scene overnight to monitor hotspots, the spokesperson said. The blaze was largely contained by early evening and the heavy smoke had mostly dissipated by 6pm.
Appropriate safety measures were carried out in the disposal of the burning scrap metal, Global Metal Solutions chief executive Roger Wilson told RNZ last night.
He said it is still unknown how the fire ignited.
The flames, which a FENZ spokesperson confirmed were 25-by-15-metres in size shortly after 8:30am on Wednesday, escalated to an "absolutely massive" blaze, according to a local worker.
"We can see massive flames and black smoke. It's just absolutely massive now," Lee Clough, an employee at the neighbouring business Superior Doors, told Newshub.
"It started off with one fire, and now it's gone to two," she said. "We're keeping an eye on it - we may get evacuated, but we're not sure."
Fire and Emergency Counties Manukau Area Commander Geoff Purcell said the blaze, mostly comprising rubbish and steel, grew to 50-by-50-metres.
"It's all sorts of things, car bodies, fridges, furniture... we encourage people to stay out of the smoke, close their windows and doors - call Healthline if you're feeling unwell."
There have been no reports of any injuries sustained in the fire.