A fire which burned out-of-control this afternoon before being contained by a helicopter with a monsoon bucket started as a small controlled burn on a lifestyle block near Taieri Mouth.

Eight fire crews and two helicopters were called to the grass fire at the corner of Otokia-Kuri Bush Rd and Taieri Mouth Rd , which until it was contained was billowing smoke which could be seen from some distance away.

A reporter at the scene said a helicopter was at the scene and had made at least five passes, dropping water from a monsoon bucket on to the blaze, by 3pm.

A rural fire tanker and crew were also getting to work on the ground to battle the blaze, which was burning on a lifestyle block, which appears to be contained.

It was very close to the house on the property, but the house does not appear to be damaged.

The landowner, who requested anonymity, said the fire started from a small gorse burn-off that spread out-of-control.

The landowner said they had a fire permit and they thought the fire would not spread out-of-control because it was a largely windless day.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said the fire was about 300m wide and it was unknown how long it was.

Two fire appliances had arrived by about 2.30pm and a further six were on the way.

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Two helicopters were also called to fight the blaze.

The blaze started as a controlled burn which went out-of-control.