A house is being threatened by a severe blaze in a rural area near Ashburton.

A power pole has been destroyed by the fire, which began in a hedge, meaning the 11 fire crews either at or on their way to the scene are fighting the blaze with extreme caution.

A fire communications spokesman said crews were waiting on the power to be shut off, and were focussing on defending the house from the flames.

The fire service was called to the scene at 6.14pm.