Firefighters are battling a vegetation blaze close to houses near Christchurch this evening.

A fire has taken hold near Taylors Mistake Rd above Sumner.

Emergency services were called at 5.55pm and three fire engines and two tankers are on the scene, a Fire Service spokesman said.

"It's not very large but it's very close to the homes on top of the very steep cliff face."

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No homes have been evacuated but it's possible some residents have left the area under their own steam, the spokesman said.