Fears controlled burn could disrupt flights

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Firefighters are attending a controlled burn-off near Queenstown Airport due to fears smoke could disrupt flights.

Southern Fire Communications shift manager Daryl Ball said the fire service had been notified of the Kingston Rd burn-off, near the Remarkables Ski Field turn-off, by concerned Queenstown Airport officials at about 10.40am this morning.

A plume of dark grey smoke could be seen from several parts of Frankton.

As of midday, two units – from Frankton and Arrowtown – were in attendance, and a further two rural fire units had been dispatched from Arrowtown to help extinguish the blaze.

Mr Ball said although farmers were not legally obliged to inform the fire service when planning burn-offs, it was helpful if they could.

“When we know what’s planned we can talk to the landowners about those plans, and ensure we’re all prepared in advance.”

Those conducting today’s burn-off had not informed the fire service, he said.