As fires rage in Marlborough, high winds have made it too dangerous to fly in helicopters.
The Fire Service says a blaze of this size is earlier than would normally be expected.
So has it been triggered in part by the El Niño weather pattern bringing hotter conditions?
NIWA’s principal scientist Chris Brandolino joined Paul Henry to talk about the weather hitting the country.
Watch the video for the full interview with Chris Brandolino.