Fire crews are at the scene of a large blaze that has broken out in a forest in the Dunedin suburb of Burnside.

The blaze, which is burning in pine trees behind the old Burnside freezing works and near a neighbouring green waste business, is being buffeted by strong winds.

Smoke can be seen billowing from the area and sirens can be heard wailing from as far away as Fairfield, on the southern motorway.

An Otago Daily Times reporter at the scene said large flames were visible in the block of pines.

Advertisement
Plumes of smoke were billowing from the area around McLeods Rd, in the Dunedin suburb of Burnside. Photo / Mark Wasley
Plumes of smoke were billowing from the area around McLeods Rd, in the Dunedin suburb of Burnside. Photo / Mark Wasley

At least three helicopters were helping to fight the blaze, they said.

The work of firefighters at the scene was being hindered by severe winds, which was helping the blaze to spread rapidly.

Police were assisting at the scene at McLeods Rd and traffic cordons were in place on McLeods Rd, Kaikorai Valley Rd, and Main South Rd.

Motorists were being asked to avoid the area where possible.