Christchurch Civil Defence Update #7
Wednesday 15 February 2017 12:55pm
Update on fires
The Port Hill fires have now merged into one, developing significantly during the afternoon and into this evening.
The estimated area of the fire is now in excess of 1850ha and still growing. The fire has crossed Dyers Pass Road below Sign of the Kiwi and is developing in Victoria Park. It has also spread to within close proximity of the dense residential housing of Westmoreland.
At least three additional houses have been destroyed in the area of Worsleys Road.
Evacuations are continuing, as the fire has compromised properties in the Worsleys, Hoon Hay Valley and Kennedys Bush Roads, and streets in the vicinity of Longhurst Terrace in Cashmere. The area south of Sign of the Takahe on Dyers Pass Road has also been evacuated.
There is the potential for fires to continue to spread towards residential properties overnight, with fresh easterly winds continuing. Evacuation areas will be extended overnight if the need arises.
Police are planning to knock on doors and phone residents in areas that must evacuate. However, if people are worried or feel uncomfortable in their home, the advice is to leave.
Te Hapua Halswell Centre and the Nga Hau e Wha Marae are open for evacuated residents.
Resources from out of the region are being mobilised.
FULL SITREP - 1230AM 16TH FEB 2017
• The two Port Hill fires have now merged into one, with significant development during the afternoon and continuing in the evening.
• Estimated area of the fire is now in excess of 1850ha and still growing. Fire has crossed Dyers Pass Road below Sign of the Kiwi and is developing in Victoria Park.
• The fire has also spread to within close proximity of the dense residential housing of Westmoreland.
• Indications are that there have been a significant number of properties affected.
• At least 3 additional houses have been destroyed in the area of Worsleys Road.
• 2 public meetings were conducted – one each in Selwyn and Christchurch.
• Potential for fires to continue to spread towards residential properties overnight, with fresh easterly winds continuing.
• Fire east of Dyers Pass will continue to develop with no active suppression – reassessment will be required in the morning.
• Incident Management Team is being escalated to support this complex, with support from multiple agencies.
• Out of region resources are being mobilised.
• The image is the fires footprint as of 1730pm Wednesday
• Regional incident Management team remains in place, while a State of Emergency has been declared over both Christchurch and Selwyn.
• Works during the day focussed on establishing containment lines with heavy machinery, while continuing to use aircraft to contain breakouts. Rural and urban crews worked to provide asset protection and to strengthen controls lines where safe to do so.
• Restricted Air Space remains in place – extend to 3,500ft up until midday Friday 17th February.
• Power authorities are working to maintain service.
• Around two to three houses are known to have been destroyed in this area, not 40 as previously reported. Additional staff continue to work through the night evacuating households at risk from the Port Hills fire.
• Residents in the area from the Sign of the Takahe to Victoria Park should evacuate their homes immediately.
• The Port Hills fire has crossed Dyers Pass Road into Victoria Park.
• Police and the Defence Force are evacuating properties in the area. Authorities are also evacuating the south side of Cashmere Road to Kennedys Bush Road and to Hoon Hay Valley Road.
• There is a welfare centre at Te Hapua Halswell Centre, and Nga Hau E Wha marae, on Pages Road, is now also open for evacuees. and Lincoln Event Centre and is being managed by Civil Defence.
STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED AT 1700 FEB 15TH
LATEST UPDATE FROM CIVIL DEFENCE:
• Police and New Zealand Defence personnel are currently evacuating homes in the Kennedys Bush, Cashmere and Hoon Hay Valley roads as well as homes from the Sign of the Takahe to Victoria Park. The advice from Civil Defence is that if you have any concerns about your safety, leave your home.
• Helicopters and fixed planes had been stood down for the night but fire crews remain on the ground closely watching and ready to act if the situation changes
• The fires are burning within an estimated 1,655 hectare area on both sides of the Port Hills, but not all of this area is alight as the fire has been extinguished in some locations. If a member of the public is concerned about a flare up overnight, which they believe may threaten lives or property, we advise them to call emergency services on 111.
• Around 300-400 people have been officially evacuated from homes in Worsley Road, Cracroft, the bottom of Hoon Hay Valley Road and the Westmorland area. Hundreds of others across the hills have self-evacuated as the fire spreads.
• The NZ Defence Force has also been deployed to support the response.
• If you are at all worried or uncomfortable remaining in your home, please evacuate. You can go to either of the city welfare centres for assistance.
• People are advised to stay away from the hills to allow emergency services access and ensure swift evacuation.
Orion remain on full alert, ready to respond to any issues with power supply as a result of the fires. It is possible that there will be further outages until the fire is fully extinguished.
• Firefighters are at the Christchurch Adventure Park, however the fire has not yet reached the village but is under considerable threat.
• If people are worried about their safety they should to leave their homes. If widespread evacuation is needed, emergency services will inform residents directly.
• NEW: Cashmere Road is closed west of Kaiwara Street through to Kennedys Bush Road.
• Hoon Hay Valley Road closed to traffic - residents can access properties
• Kennedys Bush Road is closed form the roundabout with Rock Hill Drive. This includes the southbound cycle track.
Worsleys Track from Worlseys Road is closed.
• Dyers Pass Road is closed between Hackthorne Road to Governors Bay Road. Use the Lyttelton Tunnel or Gebbies • Pass as the alternate route.
Summit Road is closed between Gebbies Pass and Rapaki Track.
• Old Tai Tapu Road is closed between Osterholts Road and Early Valley Road.
• Early Valley Road is closed.
• Holmes Road is closed.
• Emergency Services continue to request that people stay well away from the area and off the roads so that they can do their job and keep people safe.
• Recreational mountain bikers, walkers and runners should also stay off the Port Hills between the suburb of Huntsbury and (also including) Kennedys Bush.
Council updates here: https://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1406
Traffic updates here: http://www.tfc.govt.nz/…/late…/port-hills-fire-update-600pm/
Full health warning here:
UPdates from Civil Defence here: https://web.facebook.com/ChristchurchCDEM
The image is the fires footprint as of 1730pm Wednesday