A section of dry grass along State Highway 2 near Carterton caught fire yesterday.  PHOTO/JASON IRELAND



A courier driver, who had a fire extinguisher in his truck, helped put out the fire before fire crews arrived. PHOTO/JASON IRELAND

Quick action by a couple of drivers helped extinguish a rapidly spreading grass fire along the busy State Highway 2 near Carterton yesterday afternoon.

Jason Ireland was travelling towards Carterton when he saw billowing smoke near a dry paddock alongside the northbound passing lane.

He pulled over, grabbed a couple of water bottles and ran across the road to help two other people who were trying to extinguish the fire.

Mr Ireland said he could see the flames spreading through the dry grass along the road’s edge.

“So we jumped over the fence and tried to stop it from spreading in the paddock with our water bottles. . . [the grass] was really long between the fence and paddock.”

A Masterton-bound courier truck driver, who had also pulled over, had a fire extinguisher in his truck.

“[He] came along with a fire extinguisher and he did a lot better than us.

“By the time the fire engines got there, that guy managed to put most of it out with his fire extinguisher – what a legend.”

Carterton and Masterton fire engines arrived about a minute after Mr Ireland got to the scene.

Mr Ireland said he was going to buy a fire extinguisher for his car after he witnessed how quickly the courier driver put the fire out.

Carterton fireman Wayne Robinson said the crew attended the 5m by 30m grass fire at about 3.30pm.

Mr Robinson said it was a sign of just how dry the region was, and anything, such as a cigarette butt thrown from a car window, could have ignited the fire.