Motueka firefighters have managed to prevent a likely catastrophic blaze at a coolstore today by containing a fire an adjacent shed.

Fire and Emergency NZ shift manager Riwai Grace said smoke from the 3m x 4m shed fire was so big it could be seen from those at the control centre of the nearby bush fires in Redwood Valley, Nelson.

It was called in by those at the command centre and immediately upgraded to a second alarm, which saw extra trucks called in from surrounding areas.

"At 8.20am we had a report of a fire at a coolstore just north of Motueka. We responded the Motueka brigade. On the way to the job they could see smoke and they could also see it from the command point of the big fire near Nelson ... so we had teams from Upper Moutere, Motueka, Tasman rural fire, Mapua and Kaiteriteri."


The fire was again upgraded due to the potential for volatility and more appliances were called in from Nelson, Richmond, Takaka, Blenheim and Picton.

On arrival, Motueka firefighters discovered the blaze was still contained to an adjacent 3m x 4m shed and due to some quick work managed to contain the fire and stop it from spreading.

"They managed to divert a real big fire here. The Takaka, Richmond and Blenheim crews have all been stood down.

"The fire was contained to a compression shed. We've been very lucky by some very good work by our volunteer crews up there in Motueka and Mapua.

"Sounds like they did a great job."