Final stages of firefighting efforts as crews leave Loburn and Amberley

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jan 21, 2024 |

Swannanoa / Supplied by Fire and Emergency

Firefighters have put out two large grass fires in North Canterbury and are in the last stages of mopping up a third.

Fire and Emergency crews carried out final checks on the Amberley fire ground this afternoon and at 4pm handed the property back to the landowner.

Crews have also left the fire grounds at Loburn, where a series of grass and scrub fires destroyed two houses, a converted church and sheds and vehicles on Friday.

Final checks were made this afternoon and crews departed around 4pm.

A spokesperson said good progress has been made at the scrub fire in the Waimakariri riverbed in Swannanoa with approximately 80 per cent of the mopping up of hotspots completed.

The fire is contained and under control.

Two crews will monitor the fire ground overnight with a smoke chaser and tanker.

“Tomorrow we’ll have two crews with a fire truck, a smoke chaser and a digger.”

Swannanoa / Supplied by Fire and Emergency

The causes of all three fires are under investigation.

“We want to thank our volunteer and career firefighters who have spent the last three days protecting communities and property in very challenging conditions.

We’ve worked closely with the Waimakariri and Hurunui District Councils and other agencies to support these communities.

Swannanoa / Supplied by Fire and Emergency

“We also greatly appreciate the support and kindness that so many locals have shown to our crews.”

While slightly cooler weather is forecast for the next few days in Canterbury, the fire danger remains elevated.

Canterbury residents are reminded to take extreme care with all activities that could cause a spark that will set vegetation on fire.

Every household in a rural area should have an evacuation plan in case of wildfire, because in the current conditions, fires move quickly and are very challenging to extinguish.

All fire permits are suspended until 8am on Monday.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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