A bushfire that broke out in an Otago conservation park this morning has burned 2773 hectares of mainly tussock and scrub and spread to neighbouring land owned by Dunedin City Council, Fire and Emergency New Zealand says.
One property has been evacuated as a precaution as crews continue to fight the fire in Te Papanui Conservation Park.
Up to 10 helicopters were involved in fighting the fire near Middlemarch west of Dunedin, with four ground crews joining the effort where conditions allowed.
A Fire and Emergency spokesperson said firefighting activity will continue until nightfall and resume at first light tomorrow because the fire is in a remote area with no road access.
The fire will continue to be monitored overnight.
Conditions are forecast to improve tonight, with the possibility of light showers from about 4.00am and winds reducing in strength.
Smoke from the fire is visible over a large area of South Otago with people sensitive to smoke are being advised to stay indoors with windows and doors shut, and to turn off air conditioning.
The cause of the fire is not yet confirmed.