Flames came within metres of two North Canterbury homes this afternoon, as a fast moving fire fanned by high winds raced toward them.
Footage taken by 1News shows a paddock south of Cheviot burned down to the soil, with fence posts still smoking after the blaze had been suppressed.
In the distance, a stack of hay bales could be seen billowing smoke hundreds of metres into the air.
Fire crews both on the ground and in the air can be seen attempting to extinguish the blaze.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand said crews were alerted to a grass fire in the Domett Hurunui District at 12:56pm.
“Five helicopters were asked to be on standby that were later asked to respond,” FENZ said.
“Responding crews are from Cheviot, Scargill, Motunau and Waipara. The fire is approximately 50 hectares in size.”
Fire and Emergency Incident Controller Bruce Janes said the fire has now been contained but is still burning.
“No homes have been damaged but some farm structures have been burnt.
“The fire is not expected to be fully extinguished until tomorrow at the earliest.
“A temporary 30km speed restriction is in place on a section of SH1 in the Domett Rd area and is likely to remain in force overnight to enable fire crews to operate safely in the area.”
With strong winds, and temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius, conditions are erratic and particularly bad for firefighters battling dehydration too.
The cause is still under investigation.