Bushfires destroys many homes in New Zealand and at least 4,600 hectares of land were affected by the fire, which removed more than 100 people from one village in South Island.
The outbreak of the fire began early on Sunday morning in a mountain forest and blown by strong wind which swept past the village of Lake Ohau, forcing residents to flee for their lives.
On Monday, according to the New Zealand fire emergency agency at least 4,600 hectares (11,366 acres) of land were affected by the fire, which also removed more than 100 people.
“The high winds meant the fire could not yet be contained and the situation may change rapidly with any shift in the wind,” Fire and Emergency New Zealand said.
“At this stage we are confident that crews would have achieved 50 percent control of the fire perimeter by tomorrow night,” it added on Monday.
The agency said up to 50 structures were destroyed and conditions remained “challenging”, with 11 helicopters and nine fire crews trying to contain the flames.
Waitaki District mayor Gary Kircher said the small Lake Ohau community had been shattered.
“Of the 60 or 70 houses, we believe that the majority have gone,” he told Radio New Zealand.
“The reality is that it’s a minor miracle no one has been harmed. If it had been another 15-20 minutes, it would have been a very different story.”