Rain has come to the rescue of firefighters battling the latest destructive wildfire in Canterbury.

More than 20 fire crews and five helicopters fought the fast-moving blaze, which tore through grass and shelterbelts near Hororata, 56km west of Christchurch.

Homes were evacuated as firefighters scrambled to prevent the blaze from spreading when it broke out on farmland after lunch.

Fire and Emergency southern shift communications manager Andrew Norris said crews had contained the blaze and would be monitoring it today in case it reignited.
However, the weather had dealt firefighters a kind hand overnight.


"Everything is contained and we have no firefighters at any jobs other than actively patrolling overnight," said Norris.

"We've been lucky enough to have steady rain since late last night, which will have a massive impact on the fires we've had."

Today crews would be checking all the recent fire-damaged sites including pre-Christmas fires in Rolleston and Mcleans Island.

He said although the fires were out there was a risk of hotspots flaring up and sparking a fresh blaze.

"That's going to become an issue in the coming week. Any fire that's deep seated and burned down into the ground whether it be through fence posts or tree roots can reignite and flare up again so we'll have people monitoring and checking those sites on a regular basis in the coming week," he said.

Two homes were destroyed and property damaged in Saturday's Rolleston scrub fire, fanned out of control by strong winds and tinder-dry conditions.