Twelve residents of a rest home in Central Otago were evacuated for several hours last night, as fire ripped across a nearby tinder-dry hillside.
Dozens of firefighters battled the scrub blaze at the back of Branxholm St in Roxburgh, when the alert was raised at around 8pm. A number of homes were threatened and one was damaged.
Residents at the Teviot Valley Rest Home were taken to the Roxburgh Area School across the road, but were allowed to return later. Rest home nurse Glenda Bernhardt says those evacuated were a bit shaken up.
“At eight o’clock at night, a lot of them were already starting to go to bed, so we had to tell them we were getting them out of bed and moving them across the road to the school just for their safety.”
The fire has been contained and helicopters are flying over the area this morning to assess hot spots.
Yesterday inland Canterbury unofficially reached 38 degrees while Stewart Island was hammered by winds gusting up to 160km/h.