West Coasters urged to take care amid concerns of 'high and extreme' fire danger

West Coasters are warned to take extra care since "high and extreme" fire danger is expected for the next couple of days.

Fire and Emergency acting district manager Atila de Oliveira said the vegetation across the district is getting drier, making it good fuel for a wildfire.

"It's getting hotter and the West Coast hasn't had a lot of rain recently. Fires in these high and extreme conditions can spread very fast and can be difficult to control, so we need everyone to do their part to help prevent one starting," he said.

"Please don't light outdoor fires in these high and extreme fire conditions, even if you have a permit, as it's too risky that your fire could get out of control - wait until the conditions are better."

De Oliveira also said Fire and Emergency asks anyone planning any activities that may cause a spark - such as mowing - to do this in the cooler parts of the day.

"Check the conditions at www.checkitsalright.nz and follow our safety tips so we can keep the West Coast safe and avoid a devastating wildfire this summer."

It comes after one spark from a ride-on lawnmower blade hitting a stone appeared to start a fire that could've cost a farmer their home.

On Sunday afternoon, six fire crews raced to the house in Wendon, Southland, and tried to prevent the blaze from reaching the farmhouse, sheds, farm implements, and fuel supplies.

Southland group manager Timo Bierlin said the fire got so close that paint on the side of the house was bubbling and the guttering was destroyed. 

"If you must mow, it's best to do so in the early morning when the day is at its coolest," he said.

It was a busy New Year's Eve for firefighters after crews were called to multiple incidents across the country.

Fire and Emergency said at any one time there were up to 15 incidents being dealt with simultaneously, related to either fireworks, bonfires, or campfires.

In the South Island, many of the fires were reported to be in areas that were difficult to access and were likely to require helicopters after daybreak. The locations of fires included Marahau in the Tasman District, Dalefield near Arrowtown, Aramoana near Dunedin, and the old school site at the remote Skippers reserve near Queenstown.

There were multiple incidents in the North Island, with the most serious being a scrub fire started by fireworks in Mahurangi East, Fire and Emergency said.

Other fires included one in Puhoi, Oriental Bay in Wellington, Tauranga, the civic administration building and seats in Edwards Pit park in Palmerston North, Kelston, New Plymouth, and the sand dunes at Waitarere Beach in Horowhenua.