Firefighters have successfully managed to “contain and control” a fire that has been burning in Nelson’s Lee Valley for several days, Fire and Emergency (FENZ) says.

In a statement, incident controller Steve Trigg said 20 firefighters will continue to work today, but there will be a “gradual scaling back of crews over the next few days”.

Last night saw an “increase in wind strength” but saw little impact on the fire’s behaviour.

“We are now in mop-up mode and will slowly be reducing our presence on the fire ground,” Trigg said.

Drones are assisting crews to find and extinguish hotspots.

“Having the drone team here has been invaluable,” Trigg said.

“They have assisted crews working in very difficult and dangerous terrain, meaning progress has been faster than expected.”

The investigation into the fire remains ongoing.

Trigg thanked the community for the “support and patience” while the blaze was brought under control.

FENZ expects to hand the site back to the landowners at some point next week.

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