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Watch: Forest wildfire in New Zealand forces evacuation

Forest wildfire in New Zealand destroys homes, forces evacuation Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Wellington, New Zealand Feb 06, 2019, 01.15 PM (IST)

A bush fire on New Zealand's South Island spread through thousands of hectares, destroying property and forcing the evacuation of about 100 homes, officials said on Wednesday.

The fire that started at Pigeon Valley in Nelson on Tuesday (February 5) doubled overnight to spread over 1,870 hectares according to the Nelson Tasman Emergency Management Office.

More than 100 homes have been evacuated or self-evacuated, and people were being sheltered at civil defence centres. Several homes have been burned down although there have been no reports of casualties or injuries so far.

Officials said 12 fire crews worked overnight to control the fire, and 10 helicopters and two planes were being used on Wednesday to control the blaze. It could take up to four days to extinguish the fire, firefighters said.