Fire fighters are battling a large fire in high winds in a remote bay east of Picton and say they have fears for public safety.
Some residents have been evacuated.
The fire in trees and scrub land, reported about 3pm, had spread to one house and was threatening others by 4.30pm.
Karl Patterson, shift manager for the Fire Service's Southern Communication Centre said the area had a number of holiday homes.
"We are just trying to work out what houses are inhabited and what aren't, and try and work to protect the rest of the houses."
Strong winds were hampering efforts of Picton Fire Brigade, rural fire crews from Blenheim, Rarangi and Korimiko and four helicopters were fighting the fire.