A bird's nest under the bonnet was responsible for sending a 4WD truck up in flames yesterday, Fire and Emergency New Zealand says.

The driver of the ute, who wished to remain anonymous, had finished picking up groceries when disaster struck.

The Omakau Volunteer Fire Brigade responded to a call about 2.30pm and police assisted at the scene, on Blacks Hill in Ida Valley-Omakau Rd, near Poolburn.

The man had pulled over to take a phone call when he noticed smoke coming from the bonnet.

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"We had just been to Cromwell and Alexandra to do some grocery shopping.

"I jumped out and lifted the bonnet and there was a bird's nest that was glowing red hot.

"As soon as I lifted the bonnet, [the nest] got a bit of breeze on it. Then up she went."

A fire spokesman said there had been no reported injuries and the incident was not being treated as suspicious.

A police spokesman said the scene was cordoned off as a precaution, traffic being diverted down McIntosh Rd.

Fire crews had the fire out about 3pm and left the scene 30 minutes later.