11 Mar 2016

Canterbury fire will take days to put out

6:12 pm on 11 March 2016

Rural fire crews are damping down two fires in Canterbury, and monitoring the scene of a third blaze.

They're continuing to work at West Darfield, where a fire destroyed a home last night and at Hanmer Springs, where a fire flared up yesterday.

West of Lake Coleridge, firefighters are monitoring a fire where deep-seated hotspots were still burning this morning.

The Fire Service said earlier today that it could take days to fully extinguish the scrub fire which destroyed a house, several sheds, and scorched hundreds of hectares of land in West Darfield.

The fire, which broke out yesterday afternoon, forced the evacuation of some homes around Homebush, Rowallan and Deans Roads, near the Malvern Hills.

Selwyn principal rural fire officer Douglas Marshall said strong winds made it especially difficult for the more than 70 firefighters, and four helicopters, who were trying to stop the blaze from spreading.

"It burnt out about about 60 hectares but really it's covered probably more likely about 300 hectares. Unfortunately we did lose a house and we have lost a number of outhouses as well, garages and a hay shed," he said.

Mr Marshall said the fire was contained last night, but it could take days until all hot spots were completely extinguished and there was no chance of the fire reigniting.

He said the fire was linked to a burnoff on a rural property which had got away from firefighters.

"I mean we were there very quickly with resources but it was just so difficult to contain," he said.

A full investigation into the cause was to get underway.

A woman living near the home that burned down said the home's destruction was tragic and the community was feeling very upset about it.

Louise Deans, who owns the historic Homebush Homestead in Darfield, said her neighbours' house was a beautiful early 1900s villa, full of history.

She said everyone was left on edge after the fires.

"Everybody's keeping an eye out on everybody else and worrying how they are," she said.

The Darfield fire is one of four in Canterbury, which rural fire crews are continuing to damp down.

They are still on the ground in Hanmer Springs, Double Hill Run Road, west of Lake Coleridge West Darfield and Tramway Road near Mt Somers, west of Methven.