A large vegetation blaze Fire and Emergency NZ services are currently battling near a tree farm west of Palmerston North has grown in size throughout the afternoon as firefighters battle to gett it under control.
A Fire and Emergency NZ spokesperson told 1 NEWS this afternoon they had 11 appliances as well as seven helicopters at the fire in Santoft, near Bulls.
It is believed the blaze was approximately 30 hectares in size at 5:30pm this afternoon but it has since grown to 80 hectares in size.
"The fire is threatening a nearby forestry block called Santoft Forest and Farmland Foods factory," Fire and Emergency said in a statement.
"Farmland Foods have been evacuated as a precaution.
"This fire is creating considerable smoke drift to the east, with reports of smoke coming from the Manawatu Gorge, Woodville, and as far away as the Central Hawkes Bay."
Public have been asked to stay away from the area while firefighters combat the blaze.