Several grass fires on the roadside at Fruitlands yesterday gave a stark reminder of just how dry conditions are across Central Otago.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) received "multiple" calls related to grass fires along State Highway 8, between Alexandra and Roxburgh at about 1.15pm.

Fenz Southern Communication Centre shift manager Daniel Reilly said a fire crew from Alexandra and one from Dunstan were initially sent to the scene.

However, due to the day's dry hot weather, fire danger and the risk involved, one more crew from Alexandra and two more from Dunstan were sent too.


"On arrival, we found two fires at the Fruitlands straight" Reilly said.

"The first fire was relatively small and was out by the time the fire brigade arrived. The second fire was approximately 20m long, along the roadside on both sides".

He said it was not known what sparked the fires during Central Otago's prohibited-fire season.

Fenz issued a warning last week, prohibiting any activities which could cause sparks, including roadside mowing, grinding, welding, the use of chainsaws, fireworks and explosives.

Mid to high twenties temperatures expected this week may bring extreme fire danger.