Helicopters and fire crews are fighting two fires in North Canterbury caused by lightning strikes.

Crews from Hamner and the Department of Conservation are fighting one fire near Lake Tennyson, while a Hurunui crew is at a second near Lake Sumner.

Helicopters joined both, in an effort to bring the fires under control before dark.

The two fires started shortly after 7pm, and at 9.30pm the two fire were contained at 5 hectares.


They were caused after a series of thunderstorms in the area, A Fire Emergency New Zealand spokesman said.

It was not uncommon for fires to be started by lightning strikes, especially with such dry conditions, he said.

North Canterbury was in a restrictive fire ban, but both sites were near Marlborough which was in a total fire ban.

"The area is mainly covered in scrub, we will monitor it overnight and clean up tomorrow morning.

"It hasn't been that windy tonight, that has been very fortunate."

Both of the fires were in isolated high-country areas and were not a threat to any buildings.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand was also assessing resources needed for both fires and across the region tomorrow, given the weather conditions.