Firefighters are battling a large blaze at a farm near Ashburton, believed to have been sparked by a controlled burn-off.
Four fire engines and five tankers are at the Chertsey Kyle Road fire which has spread down a 400 metre tree line and destroyed a hay stack.
Chief fire officer Donald Dunlea said it was "a bit of a disaster", and firefighters were working to stop the fire from spreading into a nearby paddock where there was a cottage.
The hay stack is being pulled apart by contractors and will take hours to contain.
Mr Dunlea said the farm owner was carrying out a controlled burn off in a paddock and the tree line caught fire and spread to the hay stack.