A man has died during a rural burn-off near Cromwell.

The Fire Service was placed on standby after reports a person had been injured about 6.30pm yesterday during a large controlled burn-off on Northburn Station.

A man's body was subsequently recovered from the area last night, Southern District Command Centre deployment co-ordinator Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Butterfield said.

Police were investigating the circumstances of his death, but it was not believed to be suspicious.

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The man's name and age would not be released until next of kin had been advised, Acting Snr Sgt Butterfield said.

The man was understood to have been helping with the burn-off at the historic 13,000ha station.

A resident said smoke was ''pouring out'' from the station and ''ash was falling in the air'' last night.

The fire had burned for two days and the glow of the flames was visible from Cromwell.

A Fire Service spokesman said the fire, which was permitted, was in no danger of spreading and appeared to have burned itself out.

Acting Snr Sgt Butterfield said the man's death would be referred to the coroner.

The Northburn Station owner declined to comment last night.