Fire and Emergency have worked through the night to control a large tyre fire in Amberley, a site previously identified as a fire risk.

Nine tankers, four fire engines and one command unit have been working closely with Environment Canterbury to fight the blaze on Racecourse Rd in North Canterbury.

A pile of 500 tyres is on fire. The pile is near another 200,000 tyres.

A Fire and Emergency spokesperson said they had stopped the spread of the fire and would keep monitoring it. They would let the fire burn itself out at the request of Environment Canterbury.

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A light wind was blowing the tyre smoke away from nearby Rangiora but anyone in the path of the smoke was advised to close their windows and avoid inhaling it.

A pile of 500 tyres is on fire, with 70 per cent of the tyres having burned through. Photo / Julia McLean (via Hurunui District Council Facebook)
A pile of 500 tyres is on fire, with 70 per cent of the tyres having burned through. Photo / Julia McLean (via Hurunui District Council Facebook)

Anyone with respiratory issues was advised to leave the area until the smoke subsides, while FENZ also recommended bringing pets indoors.

The fire had burned through 70 per cent of the tyres and fire crews would not be using water or foam on it.

Firefighters first attended at 6pm. New crews arrived at 6am to take over.

Resident Donna Hicks said she could see the smoke from the fire from about 9km away.

A meeting report from the Hurunui District Council in August last year identified the tyre storage site as a potential fire risk and a discussion was had about how the risk could best be mitigated until the tyres were removed.

Hurunui District Council chief executive Hamish Dobbie said the matter of the tyre pile and its fire risk had been discussed at council meetings before. Councillors had all agreed that "everybody wants to get rid of it because of the fire risk".

"This is what we thought could happen, and that is what has happened - it is disappointing that those tyres are still there."

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The council was on standby if FENZ needed it from a Civil Defence perspective, he said.

Environment Canterbury was currently dealing with the man who was leasing the land to get the tyres removed.

Water was turned off in the area for the night due to concerns that fire debris could be landing in reservoirs and getting into the water supply.

"For these reasons, once the fire service have finished using water, we will be turning the scheme off for the night.

"This affects all users on the Racecourse bore. The supply to Amberley won't be affected. A decision will be made late morning about returning to normal," Hurunui District Council said on Facebook.