Massive blaze near Wanaka under control but still not out




Holiday-goers staying at the Kiwi Holiday Park "dodged a bullet" last night as the Mt Roy fire in Wanaka crept close to the campground.

Firefighters used eight helicopters and dozens of trucks to dump water on the fire which started yesterday.
Source: 1 NEWS

Andrea Kendrick from the campground, where 180 people were staying last night says they felt very anxious as the flames crept closer.

The campground was on standby to evacuate, but the wind changed at 4am saving the camp from being engulfed in flames. 

Eight helicopters with monsoon buckets have been working since daybreak to stop the fire burning on the slopes of Mt Roy. 

Helicopters battling fire on Wanaka's Mt Roy fill monsoon buckets.

Choppers fill monsoon buckets.

Source: 1 NEWS

Four ground crews have joined the helicopters on the steep hillside this morning, with another on its way.

With temperatures forecast to increase later today, and MetService issuing a thunderstorm watch for the area, the weather is a significant factor in the fire fighting says Principal Rural Fire Officer Graeme Still.

Eight helicopters are working this morning to dampen the Wanaka fire that spread 40ha overnight.
Source: 1 NEWS

"This is a deep seated fire that has burnt 199 hectares. It's very slow work on the hill."

He said it will take at least two days more work by ground crews before the fire can be put out.

Black soot covers Wanaka's Mt Roy hillside after huge fire.

Black soot covers Wanaka's Mt Roy hillside after huge fire.

Source: Nikki Heath/ Wanaka Sun

Overnight fire crews worked to protect homes on the outskirts of Wanaka from a fire on the slopes of Mt Roy.

At about 3am fire crews and police were preparing to evacuate about 30 homes as well as holidaymakers at the Wanaka Kiwi Holiday Park as a precaution due to wind shift.

But by 4.30am conditions changed again and the fire is not currently burning towards houses.

Fire fighters worked through the night to protect nearby property from Mt Roy fire.
Source: 1 NEWS

"The fire danger in this area is extreme so we are continuing to take a very cautious approach," said Principal Rural Fire Officer Graeme Still.

The fire broke out behind houses and a holiday park and has spread over a wide area.
Source: 1 NEWS

The fire has been burning in grass and scrub on steep slopes on the western side of Lake Wanaka since yesterday afternoon and was estimated to have burned 160 hectares by dark.

Mr Still said fire suppression work continued until dark, when helicopters were stood down, but fire appliances stayed overnight and were able to respond quickly to the wind change.

Fire continues to burn on the slopes of Mt Roy at first light on Thursday.

Fire continues to burn on the slopes of Mt Roy at first light on Thursday.

Source: Jenny Hare

There is no public access to the Mt Roy Track and Spotts Creek Track, and the Milennium Track from Ruby Bay to the Edgewater Bridge, today due to the fire.

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