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Two large fires break out in North Canterbury amid strong winds

Firefighters are responding to two large fires in north Canterbury as strong winds batter the region.

A firefighter operates a fire truck. Source: Luke Appleby/1 NEWS

Fire and Emergency’s Southern communications shift manager Andrew Norris says 12 fire engines have been called to a large fire at Mouse point on State Highway 7 between Culverden and Hanmer.

The fire is currently burning up into the hills alongside the highway.

Strong winds have meant helicopters have not been called to the fire as it is unsafe to fly.

Firefighters on the ground are currently protecting one property amid the blaze.

State Highway 7 is currently closed between Culverden and the Hanmer Springs turnoff.

Another six appliances have responded to a fire in a 30 hectare forestry block at Happy Valley, near Motunau Beach.

The exact size of the fires has not been determined yet.