Nelson Police have charged two people in relation to a fire this afternoon on the side of a road in Pigeon Valley near Wakefield.

Police were called after two people were seen acting suspiciously in a rural Upper Moutere forestry block at around 2pm today.

The pair were arrested in a nudist camp this afternoon after attempting to light the fire.

"A 34-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman have both been charged with arson in respect of today's incident," Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Johnston said.

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"The fire was discovered soon after it had started by a member of the public and was able to be extinguished before it took hold.

"They have been remanded in custody to appear in Nelson District Court tomorrow, Thursday March 7."

Detective Inspector Paul Borrell said these people left the forestry area in a vehicle but were apprehended some kilometres away.

Earlier today, a spokeswoman at Nelson Sun Club said the pair fled in their car and were chased on to the property where they got stuck and were arrested.

The response involved Fire and Emergency NZ, police staff, and a helicopter.

"We would like to thank local contractors who initially spotted the pair and immediately notified Police," Borrell said.

"The use of the helicopter enabled real-time information to be passed to police providing the location of the car and persons shortly before 3pm.

Meanwhile, the man has also been charged with arson in relation to a fire which started on the side of the Moutere Highway last week.

That fire caused extensive damage to a wide area of pine forest and resulted in the evacuation of local residents.

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"The investigation into these incidents is ongoing - even though these arrests have been made, we ask that the community remains vigilant, and that anyone who witnesses something suspicious reports it immediately," Detective Senior Sergeant Johnston said.