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Firefighters battling blazes around the country

Firefighters are thankful for a change in the weather in Marlborough this morning as they battle a huge blaze north of the Wairau River. 

Latest estimates indicate the inferno has burned its way through more than 500 hectares of scrub and forest.

Its perimeter now stretches out more than 17 kilometres.

Local fire crews are being assisted by colleagues from Nelson, Canterbury, Kaikoura and the West Coast.

11 aircraft are on standby to fight the fire today.

A drop in temperatures and wind strength, and a splash of rain have helped slow the blaze.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Richard MacNamara is hoping for better conditions today.

“We’re expecting cooler conditions,” he says. “There might be a bit of rain in it.”

“It’s not significant in itself but the fact that the conditions are little bit more benign means the fire behaviour will be a little less intense.”

Yesterday, a helicopter with a monsoon bucket being used to fight the massive blaze crashed.

The pilot was uninjured.

Crews have also been working on a remote fire in Southern Wairarapa. 

It’s covering several hectares at the Manuhau Homestead on White Rock Road, south of Martinborough.

About 60 hectares of scrub has been burning near Oxford, and there have been fires near Christchurch Airport, and just north of Darfield.

– Newstalk ZB

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