Fourteen Kiwi fire fighters will head to Chatham Island tomorrow to help fight a 2000ha fire while 19 households on the island have been evacuated due to fears the fire could change direction overnight.
While the fire was currently burning towards the southern coast, a wind change to the north had been forecasted overnight.
Accordingly, 19 households along the Waitangi Wharf - Owhenga Road have been evacuated to a welfare centre operated by the Chatham Islands Council Civil Defence as a precaution overnight.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand principal rural fire officer Craig Cottrill said two teams of five specialist rural fire fighters and four incident management team specialists would fly to the island via charter aircraft at 3pm tomorrow with fuel, equipment and supplies for a two-week deployment.
Two helicopters with monsoon bucket capacity were also set to arrive on the island early tomorrow afternoon.
They would join eight Fire and Emergency volunteers, four Department of Conservation staff, and three local contractors working to contain the fire.
Ground observers estimated the fire to be roughly 2000ha in size.
It appears to have started to burn into conservation land, however the true extent of the fire would be able to be determined once additional crews are on the ground.