Port Hill fire investigation underway, public urged to help

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Feb 14, 2024 |

Taine Menzies

Fire and Emergency is asking the public for help following the large fire on the Christchurch Port Hills.

Crews have been carrying out reassurance checks at Governors Bay and Early Valley Road.

A spokesperson said at 6AM, 23 appliances will be back on the ground.

They will be supported by 13 helicopters and two fixed wing aircrafts focused on retardant drops.

Residents who have been evacuated will not be able to return home tonight, and cordons remain in place.

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

“If you have photographs or videos of the Port Hills taken between 1.45pm and 2.45pm today please email them to [email protected] with your name and contact details, the exact time you took the photo or footage, and where you were”

Camille Jackson

The period between 1.45pm and 2.45pm covers the half hour before the fire was reported until half an hour afterwards.”

Megan Jean

Helicopters were grounded on Wednesday night, leaving approximately 50 firefighters to manage the situation overnight.

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

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.

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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