More fire crews, helicopters battling Port Hills fires

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Feb 14, 2024 |

Lincoln Volunteer Fire Brigade

23 fires appliances, supported by 13 helicopters and two fixed wing aircrafts focused on retardant drops are expected to be back at the Port Hills fires this morning.

Taine Menzies

Fire crews carried out reassurance checks overnight at Governors Bay and Early Valley Road.

Residents who were evacuated last night were not allowed to return to their homes, while police officers managed cordons to keep property safe.

Lyttelton / Andrew Legge

Fire investigation underway

Meanwhile, the investigation in the cause of the blaze is underway.

Fire investigators are wanting photographs or videos from the public of the Port Hills taken between 1.45pm and 2.45pm on Wednesday.

The period between covers the half hour before the fire was reported until half an hour afterwards.

The public is urged to email them to [email protected] with their name and contact details and the exact time the photo or footage was taken.

Camille Jackson

State of Local Emergency declared

Christchurch mayor Phil Mauger and Selwyn District Council Mayor Sam Broughton declared a State of Local Emergency on Wednesday evening.

“The declaration means we are better able to coordinate our response across all the various agencies involved, and will mean we can get assistance to where it’s most needed.

“It also means the local Controller can evacuate people or restrict access to affected areas as required,” Mauger said.

Megan Jean

Vicki Rowe

Evacuation centres were set up at the Te Hāpua Halswell Centre and the Lincoln Community Centre to assist those affected.

Authorities advised the public to avoid the Worsleys Road area due to safety concerns.

Structure protection was carried out around properties on Hoon Hay Valley Road.

The smoke plume from the fires was easily visible on satellite imagery.

Source: Metservice

Another plume from a fire near Rakaia was also distinguishable.

Both plumes were blowing across the Pacific Ocean reaching latitudes almost as far south as Dunedin within 5 hours Metservice said.

Hot, dry winds were forecast to continue across Canterbury until a cooler southerly wind arrives on Thursday evening with a small sprinkling of rain.

Vicki Rowe

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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