Christchurch Civil Defence Update #10
Thursday 16 February 2017
Update on Port Hills Fire 6.15am
Evacuations are continuing on the Port Hills as the fires continue to burn. A total of 450 properties have been officially evacuated, with police door-knocking downhill of the Sign of the Takehe as far as Kiteroa Place since early this morning. Others have self-evacuated as the fire spread overnight.
The fire now spans around 1800 hectares across the hills, with latest reports that it has now spread to the harbour side of Sugarloaf.
Seven houses are believed to have been damaged by the fire since yesterday, on Early Valley Road and Worsley Road.
In addition to the Christchurch fire ban, a total fire ban is now in place from South Canterbury through to the north end of the Hurunui District.
Christchurch Civil Defence Controller David Adamson says there has been a phenomenal amount of ground staff working through the night, with addition crews set to continue the effort from day break.
“The fire now spans a large front and all agencies are coordinating very well to fight the blaze and support the community. However, the situation remains very serious. Police and the Defence Force have had a huge job overnight with evacuations, the setting-up of cordons around key areas and security patrols of areas that have been evacuated.”
The police are stressing that it is imperative that members of the public keep away from the hills. People “rubber-necking” are disrupting the emergency response and making it harder for police and fire services to do their jobs.
The public are encouraged to follow official updates on the Christchurch City Council’s Newsline website and social media, as well as other emergency services updates.