hectare: 10,000 square metres
rural: in the countryside
broke out: when a fire starts by accident, we say it “broke out”
under control: if something is under control, it means that it is no longer dangerous
at this stage: now. Using this phrase means that the information may change in the future.
A large bush fire broke out on Wednesday afternoon in Pigeon Valley, near Nelson. The twelve firefighting crews working on the fire expect that it will take a few days to stop, even with the help of two planes and ten helicopters with monsoon buckets full of water to drop on the fire. A lot of the land on fire is forest and grassland, but 235 rural homes and farms with livestock have been affected. People have been evacuated from Eves Valley, Redwood Valley and Teapot Valley. So far, one home has been lost in Redwood Valley.
On the same day, a second fire broke out on Rabbit Island, near the Nelson airport, but that is now under control.
People in the city of Nelson can smell smoke and see ash in the air. This is the driest Nelson has been in 20 years.
At this stage the fire is covering 1870ha of land.