Firefighting efforts in Marlborough save major powerlines carrying electricity to North Island

Firefighting efforts in Marlborough have kept a bushfire away from nearby major powerlines that carry electricity to the North Island.

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Marlborough Principal Rural Fire Officer John Foley said the terrain and temperature made fighting the blaze a major challenge. Source: 1 NEWS

The four-hectare fire in Rarangi, north of Blenheim, kicked off just before midnight, burning between Port Underwood Road and the sea.

Six helicopters have been saturating the ground since first light this morning, alongside 21 firefighters with hoses on the hillside.

Marlborough principal rural fire officer John Foley told 1 NEWS the area might not be large, but it’s a complex job.

“150 metres off the road it just drops off into a sheer bluff,” he explained.

“I’m pretty sure we’ve got it contained. It’s certainly not controlled, it’s burning still on the perimeter.”

Their priority is to establish a “really tight” containment line and manage the inaccessible areas.

Mr Foley said another concern had been for the main transmission lines going to the North Island.

“They actually run through there above the fire… If it jumped the road and ran up the hill it could have put those at risk.”

Conditions remain hot and dry with forecast easterly winds.

“It’s gonna take a lot of work to mop up."