Port Hills Fire - Christchurch Civil Defence Updates

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by GovtCCC Recommended Featured Popular

Below are all the Updates from Civil Defence since the State of Emergency was declared and Emergency Operation Centre was activated on Wednesday February 15th at 6pm in relation to the Port Hills Fire.  Important links: 

This interactive map shows the Port Hills fire hot spots (external link) and the latest cordon information.

Recreation  updates on parks and tracks 

Roads – for up-to-date road closure information, visit Transport for Christchurch.

(external link)

Welfare – view the Port Hills Fire Welfare Information [PDF, 227 KB].

Questions and answers – frequently asked questions about the Port Hills fire.

Christchurch Residents Information: https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1415
City Council Updates: https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1406

 

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Sunday 26 February #67

Media Update – 3.20 pm

Dyers Pass Road cordons

The team reviewing the condition of Dyers Pass Road this afternoon has reported back.

The condition of the road is good overall but almost all posts and guard rails have melted or been burnt and will need repairing or replacing. One power pole is damaged and some trees need removing. A geotechnical assessment of scattered rocks above the road is also needed.

We plan to complete this work as rapidly as possible, as reopening this key route is a high priority. We are getting a lot of queries about when Dyers Pass Road will open to the public and recognise the significance of this road. We will update you if the cordon situation changes.

Other cordons

There are 11 cordons in total. While cordons at Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road, Hoon Hay Valley Road and Dyers Pass Road have been relaxed, this is for residents only. There is still no access for members of the public. Access for tradespeople to repair damaged houses is being arranged.

Cordons are also being maintained at the entrance to Halswell Quarry during air operations to ensure public safety.

We are reminding people to resist the temptation to come and have a look around the area, this includes mountain bikers and runners. The area remains an operational fire zone with cordons still in place. Fire behaviour modelling indicates the chance of another outbreak is low but if it did happen, significant damage could still occur.

Fire crews

A current priority for fire authorities is detailed mapping of unburnt vegetation within the perimeter of the fire. This will help fire crews to strengthen fire breaks around these areas and reduce the risk of new outbreaks. The latest map of hotspots is attached to this update.

A total of 25 fire crews from all over the country are working today, with about 150 firefighters on the ground.

Hotspots map 26 February 2017-page-001.jpg

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Sunday 26 February #66

Media Update – 11.50am


Fire prevention tips

We’ve had a few enquiries from residents about how they can reduce the risk of fire on their properties.

The National Rural Fire Authority has some great tips on how to assess hazards in your home and garden and prevent and prepare for fire.

More detailed information is also available in the Firesmart Home Owner’s Manual.

Water Conservation

There has been heavy demand on the water supply network as a result of the firefighting response and some damage to water pipes in the area.

We’re asking people in the Port Hills area to conserve water as much as possible over the next week while water levels in the reservoirs are restored.

Fire crews

A total of 25 fire crews, with around 150 firefighters, are continuing firefighting operations. New crews are operating over the weekend as others are rested. Crews have come from West Coast, Otago, Nelson, Rotorua, Southland, Taranaki, Auckland, Kaipara and Palmerston North to join their Canterbury counterparts.

Cordons

  • We are getting a lot of queries about when Dyers Pass Road will reopen to the public. We are constantly reviewing the cordons, in particularly Dyers Pass Road as we recognise the significance of this road as key arterial route. We will update you if the cordon situation changes.
  • At this stage three hard cordons remain on Dyers Pass Road. One is at the bottom where it meets Governors Bay Road, however residents who live on the section up to the hairpin bend about halfway up to the Sign of the Kiwi are permitted access to their properties. Dyers Pass Road is closed from this hairpin bend to the entrance of Victoria Park due to the fire risk and safety issues, preparations are underway to have the road open as soon as possible, after the risk mitigation work is completed.
  • While cordons at Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road, Hoon Hay Valley Road and Dyers Pass Road have been relaxed, this is for residents only. There is still no access for members of the public.

We are reminding people to resist the temptation to come and have a look around the area, this includes mountain bikers and runners. The area remains an operational fire zone with cordons still in place.

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Sunday 26 February #65

Media Update – 9.50am

It has been drizzling on the Port Hills this morning. The current fire situation is outlined below:

  • Infra-red and thermal imaging drones were used overnight to identify hotspots. Results showed very hot temperatures (greater than 100 degrees) in a pine forest north of Marleys Hill. Firecrews are monitoring this site closely for potential flare ups. Hot spots were also identified at the Adventure Park and this is also being monitored.
  • Firecrews continue to dampen hotspots around residential properties in upper Summit Road and Worsleys Road.
  • Two remote weather stations have been installed across the fire ground and dangerous tree removal is continuing to take place.

Cordons

  • We are getting a lot of queries about when Dyers Pass Road will reopen to the public. Please note at this stage three hard cordons remain on Dyers Pass Road. One is at the bottom where it meets Governors Bay Road, however residents who live on the section up to the hairpin bend about halfway up to the Sign of the Kiwi are permitted access to their properties. Dyers Pass Road is closed from this hairpin bend to the entrance of Victoria Park due to the fire risk and safety issues, preparations are underway to have the road open as soon as possible, after the risk mitigation work is completed. We will update you if the cordon situation changes.
  • While cordons at Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road, Hoon Hay Valley Road and Dyers Pass Road have been relaxed, this is for residents only. There is still no access for members of the public.
  • We are reminding people to resist the temptation to come and have a look around the area, this includes mountain bikers, runners and dog walkers. The area remains an operational fire zone with cordons still in place.

Walking and cycling tracks

We know that Sunday is a pretty popular day for recreational walkers and cyclists on the Port Hills and it’s great news that Rapaki, Mt Vernon Shared Use and Mt Vernon Farm tracks have reopened. However, tracks around Huntsbury, Bowenvale and into Victoria Park remain closed, as well as Halswell Quarry. See full list of track closures here

Interactive hot-spots map

Several people have reported difficulty viewing the interactive hot-spots map on Apple mobile devices. Minimising the legend may help you see the detail on the map. To do this, click on the small arrow at the top left of the legend panel.

Cordon access – residents only

Firefighting operations will continue on the Port Hills until the incident management team is confident the fire is fully extinguished. The area is still an active fire zone.

While cordons at Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road, Hoon Hay Valley Road and Dyers Pass Road have been relaxed, this is for residents only. There is still no access for members of the public.

Civil Defence Controller Malcolm Johnston says, “We’re appealing to the public to resist the temptation to come up for a look. Residents in these areas do not want rubberneckers, this includes mountain bikers and runners.

“There is also a significant safety issue, it is simply not safe for the general public to enter.”

There are still many areas of the city where people can safely cycle, walk or walk their dogs. View the current status of walking tracks and cycling tracks. 

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Media Update #64

Saturday 25 February – 10.30am

Fire update

No significant incidents or flare-ups were reported overnight.

Infra-red and thermal imaging drones are being used during the night and early mornings to check hot-spots. Darrin Woods, Principal Rural Fire Officer says, “I can’t understate the value of this technology. Drone footage and the thermal maps enable fire crews to directly target the hot-spots in areas that have been scanned.”

Twenty crews will continue to work today on strengthening the fire containment lines with heavy machinery, supported by helicopters and ground operations. 

Dangerous trees will continue to be removed throughout the day.

A State of Emergency is still in place over both Christchurch and Selwyn and will remain in place as long as necessary.

Cordons

The cordons at Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road and Hoon Hay Valley Road, have been relaxed for residents only. There is still no access for members of the public. Rural fire has deemed that this is still an operational fire area and as such public safety remains a priority and access must remain restricted. 

Three hard cordons remain on Dyers Pass Road. One is at the bottom where it meets Governors Bay Road, however residents who live on the section up to the hairpin bend about halfway up to the Sign of the Kiwi are permitted access to their properties.

Dyers Pass Road is closed from this hairpin bend to the entrance of Victoria Park due to the fire risk and safety issues. Preparations are underway to have the road open as soon as possible after the risk mitigation work is completed.

Walking and cycling tracks

A reminder that Rapaki, Mt Vernon Shared Use and Mt Vernon Farm tracks have reopened. However, a number of tracks remain closed. Visit the Council’s Parks web page for more information. 

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Friday 24 February #63

Media Update – 5.30pm

Media Release: Recovery Managers named

Al Lawn and Murray Sinclair have been named as the managers to lead the Port Hills fire recovery in Selwyn district and Christchurch city respectively.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, as chair of the Canterbury CDEM Group Joint Committee, announced the appointments today.

“I am delighted that Al Lawn and Murray Sinclair have been appointed to the Recovery Manager roles and will lead the transition going forward. Both Al and Murray have extensive experience working in Civil Defence and I am confident they will effectively manage the recovery phase.”

“Murray and Al will be responsible for identifying the resources required for the recovery and working with stakeholders and the affected community to develop a draft recovery plan. The draft recovery plan will identify issues and opportunities as a consequence of the fire.”

Lianne Dalziel said that although 95 per cent of the fire area was “contained” firefighting operations will continue in the Port Hills for some time.

“Crews are continuing to monitor the fire in the Port Hills, both on the ground and in the air. Drones and helicopters are being used for thermal imaging to identify hotspots and I have been advised that as long as hotspots remain fire crew will have a presence.”

Recovery Manager Bios

Al Lawn                                        

Al was in the NZ Police for close to 20 years and was a volunteer firefighter for 15 years.  He was Sergeant of the Canterbury Police Alcohol Strategy and Enforcement Team and during his time in the Police he worked in both regional and national advisory roles.

He is now a Commissioner with the District Licencing Committee and a controller for Selwyn District Council. He has farmed on and off for over 30 years, including many years farming on the port hills.

During the September 2010 Christchurch earthquake he worked as a Police liaison officer in the Christchurch Emergency Operations Centre. He was working as a police sergeant on the day of the February earthquake, carrying out response and recovery activities within the CBD. In the days and weeks following the initial event he fulfilled a number of roles at the CTV site.

Al played a pivotal role in the response to the Kaikoura earthquake including providing advice to the Controller and ensuring the Emergency Operations Centre functioned efficiently. He was primarily the response manager but also acted as the Controller when the Controller was on leave.

He completed the National CDEM Controllers course in 2015.

Al has a good understanding of civil defence responsibilities/functions gleaned over many years as a first responder and supervisor. He also has a passion for community engagement and empowerment.

Murray Sinclair                                               

Murray was employed by the Christchurch City Council from 1979 to 2015. At the time of Murray’s retirement in 2015 he was the Council’s Manager of Civil Defence and Rural Fire. Murray had held this position since 2006, leading work in disaster/emergency management since 1996. Murray has been extensively involved in readiness, response and recovery planning.

Murray played a pivotal role in the response to the 2010/2011 earthquakes. This included providing advice to the Controller and ensuring the Emergency Operations Centre functioned efficiently. Murray also provided advice to the Council’s CEO following the September 2010 earthquake on Council’s recovery responsibilities.

Murray has an excellent understanding of rural fire responsibilities/functions and the Council’s Principal Rural Fire Officer reported directly to Murray from 2008.

Murray has established an extensive working relationship with most agencies working in the CDEM response/recovery sector.

More recently, Murray was a Local CDEM Controller for the Kaikoura District Council for three weeks following the November 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Friday 24 February #62

Media Update – 5.15pm

Water Conservation

There has been heavy demand on the water supply network as a result of the firefighting response and some damage to water pipes in the area.

Civil Defence is asking people in the Port Hills area to conserve water as much as possible over the next week while water levels in the reservoirs are restored.

Dyers Pass Road

While Dyers Pass Road remains closed by emergency services, due to the fire risk, preparations are underway to have the road open as soon as possible

An assessment team has been into the cordon to review the damage and the good news is the road surface is physically safe, however a number of other safety issues must be addressed before the road is safe to reopen to the public. These include damaged signage and barriers, the risk of rock fall and the danger posed by damaged trees.

Preparations to address these safety issues are currently underway, however contractors will not be allowed into the cordon to carry out this work until the fire risk has been eliminated. A reopening time and date cannot be made until this happens.

It is appreciated that this closure is very frustrating for the surrounding communities, but addressing all safety issues must be the priority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Sunday 26 February #61

Media Update – 1.50 pm

Dyers Pass Road cordons

A team is out the field this afternoon reviewing the Dyers Pass Road cordons, as reopening this key route is a high priority. We are getting a lot of queries about when Dyers Pass Road will open to the public and recognise the significance of this road. We will update you if the cordon situation changes.

At this stage three hard cordons remain on Dyers Pass Road. One is at the bottom where it meets Governors Bay Road, however residents who live on the section up to the hairpin bend about halfway up to the Sign of the Kiwi are permitted access to their properties. Dyers Pass Road is closed from this hairpin bend to the entrance of Victoria Park due to the fire risk and safety issues.

Other cordons

There are 11 cordons in total. While cordons at Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road, Hoon Hay Valley Road and Dyers Pass Road have been relaxed, this is for residents only. There is still no access for members of the public. Access for tradespeople to repair damaged houses is being arranged.

Cordons are also being maintained at the entrance to Halswell Quarry during air operations to ensure public safety.

We are reminding people to resist the temptation to come and have a look around the area, this includes mountain bikers and runners. The area remains an operational fire zone with cordons still in place.

Fire behaviour modelling indicates the chance of another outbreak is low but if it did happen, significant damage could still occur.

Fire crews

A total of 25 fire crews, with around 150 firefighters on the ground.

An infrared scan from the air this morning showed continuing deep-seated activity across the area. There is a continuing overall reduction in hot spots – but we are still seeing a number of areas where hot spots remain. The crews are focusing on these. Drones are being used during nightshifts and early mornings for this thermal imaging.

Heavy machinery is now being used for the ongoing removal of dangerous trees.

Weather

High humidity and lower temperatures are helping with suppressing the fire, and the today’s rain is welcome. 

 

 

 

View of Kennedys Bush.jpg

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Friday 24 February #60

Media Update – 2.50pm

Aerial video showing Port Hills fire damage

showing damage from the Port Hills fire. Further images and updates will continue to be uploaded on NEWSLINE.

Private water supply

Christchurch City Council is monitoring the main water supply for residents in affected areas. Residents that have a private water supply will need to manage this themselves. Any residents with concerns about possible contamination in their fresh water supply may wish to follow these helpful tips.

Port Hills parks

  • Victoria Park: parts of Victoria Park including the dog exercise area, playground and picnic area, information centre and lower Harry Ell track are unaffected by the fire. However firefighting operations and assessments are still being carried out in these areas so until this work is completed public access is prohibited.
  • Halswell Quarry remains closed to the public as it continues to be used as a staging area for firefighting operations.
  • Tracks around Huntsbury, Bowenvale and into Victoria Park remain closed. See the full list of track closures here.
  • While areas of Marleys Hill and Mount Ada were significantly burnt in the fire, large sections of Kennedys Bush remain intact.
  • The future regeneration of the Port Hills area will be considered as part of the wider recovery plan for the area. 

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Friday 24 February #59

Media Update – 9.15am

Residents Meetings

Civil Defence held street meetings for residents affected by the Port Hills fire last night at Kennedys Bush, Hoon Hay Valley and Worsleys Road.

There was good attendance at all three meetings – 23 residents at Hoon Hay Valley, 75-80 at Worsleys Road and 95-100 at Kennedys Bush. 

The meetings gave residents the latest information on the status of and risk from the fire in their area and where to seek additional help if needed. Residents also had the opportunity to ask questions.

Fire status

  • 95% of the fire perimeter area is now considered to be controlled. Controlled is defined as bare earth or blacked out ground for at least 10 metres.
  • Twenty crews are continuing to work today on strengthening containment lines with heavy machinery, supported by helicopters and ground crew operations
  • Drones are continuing to be used during nights and early mornings to carry out thermal imaging.

Cordons

The cordons at Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Rd and Hoon Hay Valley Rd, have been relaxed for residents only. There is still no access for members of the public. Rural fire has deemed that this is still an operational fire area and as such public safety remains a priority and access must remain restricted. 

Three hard cordons remain on Dyers Pass Road. One is at the bottom where it meets Governors Bay Road, however residents who live on the section up to the hairpin bend about halfway up to the Sign of the Kiwi are permitted access to their properties. Dyers Pass Road is closed from this hairpin bend to the entrance of Victoria Park.

Public safety is a primary reason for the closure. There has been considerable damage to not only the road infrastructure (ie burnt out guard rails) but also to the surrounding terrain above the road and it is considered there is an increased risk of rock-fall. This is due to the exposure and/or possible movement of rocks due to sluicing/drying of the ground. Also, partly burnt trees have been destabilised and pose a risk of falling onto the road.

Civil Defence are working with Geo Technical/Structural Engineers and contractors to stabilise the rocks and trees and make the road safe.

At this stage there is no confirmed timeframe for the removal of these cordons.

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Thursday 23 February #58

Media update

Unless there is a significant development overnight, there will be no further updates tonight.

The next update will mid-morning tomorrow, Friday 24 February.

FAQS

  • A list of frequently asked questions is available to view on NEWSLINE.

FIRE SITUATION

  • Overnight crews will continue to monitor and patrol the fire area.
  • Drones will be flying again overnight to undertake detailed mapping and thermal imaging. The drones provide accurate information about hotspot locations which is then given to fire crews to allow them to accurately identify which areas should be targeted to reduce fire activity. Drones are now also being used during daylight hours to support ground crews, providing visual access into difficult areas and helping to direct firefighters to hot spots. For safety reasons, the drones are not used overhead inhabited properties. 
  • Helicopter thermal imaging will recommence from first light tomorrow to continue identifying hot spots across the fire area.
  • 90% of the fire perimeter area is now considered to be controlled. Controlled is defined as bare earth or blacked out ground for at least 10 metres.
  • About 100 people have worked in the fire area today, in both land-based and aerial operations.
  • Fire crews are also working to identify any unburnt vegetation within the fire area and to reduce the fire risk associated with these areas by creating fire breaks or removing vegetation.

SMOKE

·         Smoke remains an issue, but will continue to reduce as the hot spots are cooled

·         If you are troubled by smoke or dust close your windows and doors, and avoid going outside until it abates.

·         Anyone experiencing health issues relating to smoke or dust should phone their own GP team.

·         A reminder that GP visits for people in affected areas will be free for the next two months – The offer period covers the 2 months from 13 February 2017, the day the fire started.

RESIDENTS WELFARE

·         We are putting out a flyer to residents letting them know the latest information and where they can go to access support.

·         The Welfare team are undertaking to contact all affected residents by phone to ascertain welfare needs and property condition.

RECOVERY

  • Initial recovery planning is underway and in the next few days both Christchurch City Council and Selwyn District Council will be announcing Recovery Managers to lead the recovery planning. Further information will follow once these appointments have been made. 

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Thursday 23 February #57

Media Update – 2.30pm

Free GP visits

Free GP visits are being offered to people affected by the Port Hills fires, at the discretion of their General Practice team. This includes people who worked on or are still working on fire control and recovery operations.

The offer period covers the two months from 13 February 2017, the day the fire started.

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Thursday 23 February #56

Public Update – 1pm

Fire operations

Fire services advise that 90% of the fire perimeter area is now considered to be controlled. Controlled is defined as bare earth or blacked out ground for at least 10 metres.

About 100 people are working in the fire area today, in both land-based and aerial operations. While most of the fire perimeter area is defined as controlled, within this area there are many hotspots which could potentially flare up under some weather conditions and these are the focus of much of the fire operation.

Drones continue to be used to assist with the fire operation. They were used overnight to gather thermal and infrared hotspot imaging information. The drones provide accurate information about hotspot locations which was given to fire crews to allow them to accurately identify which areas should be targeted to reduce fire activity. Fire services are also looking at whether the drones may be used during the daytime. For safety reasons, the drones are not used overhead inhabited properties. 

Thermal imaging continues to show a steady reduction in hot spots across large parts of the fire area, as a result of work by fire crews on the ground. However there are still a number of locations with where hot spots are continuing to be detected. New hotspots are continuing to be mapped and identified. 

Fire crews are also working to identify any unburnt vegetation within the fire area and to reduce the fire risk associated with these areas by creating fire breaks or removing vegetation.

Smoke and dust

Fire suppression activities may generate dust or smoke. Smoke concentrations are forecast to continue to reduce as the fire hot spots are cooled. Concentrations will be high near and above the fire ground and may spread to neighbourhoods closest to the fire. In higher winds dust may pick up from the fire ground and get carried off the hill. Today, the projected trajectory for dust and/or smoke is towards the western suburbs of the city with highest concentrations at the base of the hill. 

Health effects from short term exposure to smoke the will be little more than a nuisance. It may irritate the eyes, nose throat or airways. People with pre-existing respiratory illness or heart disease may experience a worsening or recurrence of their condition. If you are troubled by smoke or dust close your windows and doors, and avoid going outside until it abates.

Anyone experiencing health issues relating to smoke or dust should phone their own GP team. After hours a nurse will answer the phone and can advise you what to do or where to go.

 

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Thursday 23 February #55

Public Update – 11.30am

Rubbish collection

Christchurch City Council wants to remind people that rubbish collection will take place in fire affected areas today from 12pm to 5pm. Wheelie bin collection will take place in:

·   Worsleys Road

·   Kennedys Bush Road

·   Hoon Hay Valley Road

·   Early Valley Road

·   Dyers Pass Road (on the Governors Bay side).

 

All waste will be treated as rubbish. There is no need to separate recycling and organics.

Additional rubbish skips will be placed in Worsleys Road, outside numbers 323, 338 (2 skips) 351 and 353.

Dyers Pass Rd

Residents of the Governors Bay area have inquired about the Dyers Pass Rd cordon.

Hazard assessment work is continuing on the slopes above this road, including for the risk that large rocks and trees could fall on the road. 

There are still significant hotspots in the Marleys Hill area that are under active fire management.

The condition of the road is also being assessed.

We understand the frustration this road closure is causing and crews are working to open the road as soon as possible. Unfortunately, at this stage we are unable to give residents a timeframe for its reopening.

Livestock

There have been issues with wandering stock on some roads in and near the fire zone. Wandering stock is a significant hazard to road users. If you see wandering livestock please call the police on 111.

Aerial operation

As the fire becomes more manageable air operations are being reduced. Today there will be four aircraft operating. Drones are continuing to be used for thermal imaging to locate hotspots that still pose a risk of flare-up.

Please remember, the fire area is a no-fly zone. This rule applies to all aircraft not involved in the firefighting effort, including private drones.

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Public Update – Thursday 23 February #54

Public Update – 8.30a

Public Meetings

Civil Defence is holding street meetings for residents affected by the Port Hills fire at 6.30pm this evening. Meetings will be held at these locations:

·   Kennedys Bush: 305 Kennedys Bush Road

·   Hoon Hay Valley: 51 Hoon Hay Valley Road

·   Worsleys Road: 327 Worsleys Road

Civil Defence Controller Anne Columbus said the aim is to provide residents with the information. This will include the latest information on the status of and risk from the fire in their area and where to seek additional help if needed. People will also have opportunities to ask questions.

These meetings are for affected residents only.

Fire status

·   The fire perimeter is around 30 kilometres and covers 2075 hectares

·   Geotechnical assessments are continuing on the slopes above residential areas. While these slopes appear sound at present, there is concern this could change with heavy rain.

·   The potential for fire flare-ups remains. Information collected after infrared imaging carried out this morning will be used to update fire-risk models later today.

·   More detailed assessment has been carried out on properties directly affected by the fire.

Cordons

Three cordons, at Worsley Road, Kennedys Bush Rd and Hoon Hay Valley Rd, have been relaxed.

All non-residents who need access – such as tradespeople, insurance representatives and other professional services, and those who own land within a cordon area but live elsewhere – should report to the cordon sign-in area to gain an entry permit. Residents are no longer required to meet visitors before they proceed through the cordon.

There is no access for members of the public.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence  Update #53

Wednesday 22 February

Port Hills Fire – 5.30pm

FINAL DAILY UPDATE WEDNESDAY 

Fire progress

 The Fire Service is pleased to announce that good progress has been made in controlling the fire in the Worselys Road area. 

Patrols will continue in the area, but crews will no longer be actively working in the area unless called in for a flare up

Residents are asked to help by being vigilant and to DIAL 111 IMMEDIATELY IF THEY SEE ANY SIGN OF THE FIRE REIGNITING.

Our crews have made great progress and we’re pleased to be able to pull back from the Worsleys area, but we really need people to keep a watch on things for us,’’ said Fire Service Liaison Officer Bruce Irvine. “The more eyes we have out there looking the better.”

Fire services are continuing operations in other areas affected by the fire.  

 

Rubbish collections

Christchurch City Council has organised rubbish collection of all Council waste bins in fire affected areas tomorrow afternoon from 12pm to 5pm. Wheelie bin collection will take place in:

• Worsleys Road
• Kennedys Bush Road
• Hoon Hay Valley Road
• Early Valley Road
• Dyers Pass Road on the Governors Bay sid

All waste will be treated as rubbish. There is no need to separate recycling and organics.

Additional rubbish skips will be placed in WorsleysRoad, outside numbers 323, 338 (2 skips) 351 and 353.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday 22 February #52

Port Hills Fire Update – 3pm

Drone

Rural firefighters are using drones above the fire zone today and this work will continue into the evening. 

This enables vital thermal and infrared hotspot imaging information to be collecte

Army personnel are assisting with this work and are involved in delivering reports on the information collected to residents inside the fire perimeter.

 

 

 

Wednesday 22 February #51

Port Hills Fire Update  11am

Update to cordons access

Three cordons have been relaxed since yesterday, to allow residents and landowners to return to their properties. Access by the general public to these cordons is still restricted until further notice. The cordons are:

·   Worsleys Road

·   Kennedys Bush Road

·   Hoon Hay Valley Road

Civil Defence has now updated the process by which non-residents gain access to restricted areas, in order to make it easier for those with a legitimate need to go through the cordons.

All non-residents who need access – such as tradespeople, insurance representatives and other professional services, and those who own land within a cordon area but live elsewhere – should report to the cordon sign-in area to gain an entry permit. Residents are no longer required to meet visitors before they proceed through the cordon.

This means non-residents are no longer required to travel to Princess Margaret Hospital to gain access through a cordon, and residents are no longer required to meet them there.

Civil Defence Controller David Adamson says: “The registration process is still necessary because all of these newly reoccupied areas are close to the active fire-ground and it is essential Civil Defence knows who is within the cordons and how to contact them at any given time.”

 

 

 

Wednesday 22 February #50

Port Hills Fire Update – 9:30am

Worsleys Road non-resident landowner access

The Worlseys Road cordon was lifted for residents at 9am this morning (Wednesday). All non-residents, including those who own land within the cordon area but live elsewhere, need to obtain an access permit from the Princess Margaret Hospital car park, in Cashmere. The same applies to insurance representatives, tradespeople and other professional services needing access. Residents and landowners need to meet these visitors at the hospital. Access by the general public is restricted at this time until further notice.

No-fly zone over fire area

Christchurch City Council’s Principal Rural Fire Officer Darrin Woods strongly emphasises that a strict no-fly zone remains in place for the area bound by Princess Margaret Hospital, Sugarloaf, Teddington and Tai Tapu until midday Friday 24 February. Fire services are currently operating drones in the area to gather important thermal and infrared hotspot information. Members of the public are not allowed to operate drones or other remotely piloted aircraft systems at any time in the no-fly zone, and police will be notified about any breaches of this rule. Flying drones in this area illegally will be taken very seriously, as it compromises critical aerial firefighting operations and safety.

Accessing properties with burnt trees

Civil Defence strongly recommends that people who have regained access to their properties with burnt trees do not go near the trees until they have been inspected by an experienced arborist. This is for their own safety.

Damage to septic tanks

Residents whose properties were directly affected by the fire should engage a qualified plumber to check the condition of their septic tanks.

 

 

 

Wednesday 22 February #49

Port Hills Fire Update – 8a

Worsleys Road cordon to be lifted at 9am

At 9am today, the Worsleys Road cordon will be lifted up to 353 Worsleys Road, where Worsleys Track begins. The cordon will open for residents only, allowing them to return home.

There remains a small number of properties located on Dyers Pass and Summit roads that are cordoned off due to ongoing fire risk and other safety concerns. Civil Defence Welfare staff will be contacting these residents directly.

Worsleys Road residents will be checked into the cordon by police and must present a photo ID, such as a driver’s licence or passport.

Registration for non-residents (e.g. insurance representatives, electricians and/or trades people) wishing to access the Worsleys Road cordon is open from 7.30am to 6.30pm each day, until further notice, in the Princess Margaret Hospital car park, Cashmere. All cordoned residents, including Worsleys Road residents, are required to meet these visitors there. Access to cordoned areas by the general public is restricted at this time until further notice.

Fire damage to trees

Residents whose properties were directly affected by the fire should engage a qualified arborist to check all mature trees. The Council’s arborists have been checking trees on roadsides and many are being felled because of fire damage.

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Update #48

Tuesday 21 February – 7:30pm

NOTE: Unless necessary, there will be no further updates until 8am tomorrow (Wednesday)

Worsleys Road cordon to open

Based on the latest fire assessment information, Civil Defence Controller Gary Foster is pleased to confirm that the Worsleys Road cordon will be lifted tomorrow (Wednesday) up to 353 Worsleys Road, where Worsleys Track begins. The cordon will open for residents only from 9am, allowing them to return home.

There remains a small number of properties located on Dyers Pass and Summit roads that are cordoned off due to ongoing fire risk and other safety concerns.

Worsleys Road residents will be checked into the cordon by police and must present a photo ID, such as a driver’s licence or passport.

Registration for non-residents (e.g. insurance representatives, electricians and/or tradespeople) wishing to access the Worsleys Road cordon is open until 6.30pm in the Princess Margaret Hospital car park, in Cashmere. Worsleys Road residents are required to meet these visitors there. Access by the general public is restricted at this time until further notice.

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Update #47

Tuesday 21 February – 6pm

Today’s warmer temperatures and lower humidity have caused some minor flare-ups on the fire ground, with fire suppression work continuing to successfully deal with these and to address hotspots. Fortunately, current wind conditions are light-moderate.  

About 20 crews are continuing to work to install control lines using heavy machinery with support from helicopters.

Cordon locations continue to be reviewed based on updated fire-risk information and ground assessments. There remains a risk that changing weather conditions could cause hotspots to flare up and fire to spread. Police and fire crews will continue patrols within the fire area overnight.

 

Smoke modelling indicates wind conditions tomorrow (Wednesday) may direct smoke over much of the Christchurch CDB, and Christchurch Airport in the evening. Smoke may remain over these locations on Wednesday night and Thursday. The smoke’s thickness will depend on fire activity.

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Update #46

Tuesday 21 February  – 5pm

A reminder to the public that a strict no-fly zone remains in place for the area bound by Princess Margaret Hospital, Sugarloaf, Teddington and Tai Tapu until midday Friday 24 February. The New Zealand Fire Service is currently operating a drone in the area to gather thermal and infrared hotspot information. Members of the public are not allowed to operate drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems at any time in the no-fly zone, and police will be notified of any breaches of this rule.

A total ban on open-air fires remains in place for the Christchurch and Selwyn districts. The ban does not include gas barbecues or pizza ovens.

 

 

 

Tuesday 21 February

Port Hills Fire – Update #45

Fire overview

Fire crews continued patrolling the fire scene last night, focusing on dampening down hotspots at Christchurch Adventure Park. Crew are also focusing on hotspots in the Early Valley Road, Hoon Hay Valley Road and Worsleys Spur area with a 40-50% reduction in fire activity from yesterday. Work to target hotspots will continue today across the entire fire ground.

Aerial drones may be trialled this evening by emergency services over the fire ground areas around the Worsleys Road area and other locations as needed. The drones will not be overhead inhabited properties (for safety reasons). The drones are being trialled to gather thermal and infrared hotspot imaging information.

A reminder to the public that the no fly zone introduced previously remains in place for the area bound by Princess Margaret Hospital, Sugarloaf, Teddington, and Tai Tapu until midday Friday 24 February.

Around 20 crews are continuing to work to install control lines using heavy machinery with support by helicopters.

Cordon locations continue to be reviewed based on updated fire risk information and ground assessments. 

Work also continues to remove dangerous trees at risk of falling due to fire damage, to improve safety for access and operations.

There remains a risk that changing weather conditions could cause hot spots to flare up and fire to spread so residents who have been able to return to their properties should be prepared to evacuate immediately.

Smoke

Cantabrians should be aware smoke may cover many parts of the region for the next 48-72 hours. Thickness of the smoke will depend on the number of hot spots within the fire-zone.

Smoke modelling indicates that on Wednesday wind conditions may direct smoke over much of the Christchurch CDB and Christchurch Airport in the evening and may remain over these locations on Wednesday night and Thursday. Fire suppression work may generate smoke and dust at times. 

Canterbury DHB is reminding people to phone their GP team first if they experience any respiratory issues or concerns.

State of Emergency extended

The State of Emergency covering Christchurch City and Selwyn District has been extended, Mayor Lianne Dalziel announced today. Mayor Dalziel and Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton took advice from Rural Fire, Fire, Police and Civil Defence in making the decision. Read the full announcement here

We held a media conference at midday which is available to view on the CDEM Facebook page. Watch it to get the latest on the situation from the experts.

 

 

 

Port Hills Update #44

State of Emergency Extended

Tuesday 21 February - 12pm

 

The State of Emergency covering Christchurch City and Selwyn District has been extended, Mayor Lianne Dalziel announced today.

Mayor Dalziel and Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton took advice from Rural Fire, Fire, Police and Civil Defence in making the decision.

Mayor Dalziel said that while the fire had been “contained” in technical terms and all resources would be available regardless of the state of emergency, there was still a potentially serious situation in the Port Hills.

“The fire is still being fought on the ground and in the air. The environment remains volatile inside the controlled area. The fire is not out and there are extensive hotspots to deal with. There is always the risk that further evacuations could be required.”

Some residents are still unable to return to their homes and many people are still experiencing the effects of the fire, ranging from total loss of their homes to other property damage and personal trauma associated with this. Accordingly, agencies need to respond to their ongoing welfare needs.

Public access to a large area remains restricted.

“In short – this remains a serious situation that requires a significant and coordinated multi-agency response,” the Mayor said. “While the State of Emergency terminates tomorrow evening, we are mindful of the significance of 22 February to the Canterbury community and as a result we agreed it was appropriate to consider the status of the State of Emergency today.”

The extension automatically lasts for seven days, but can be terminated earlier.

The Joint Committee will meet on Friday to consider the transition to recovery. That will be an appropriate time to reconsider the need for the State of Emergency to remain in place.

 

 

 

Tuesday 21 February

Port Hills Fire – update #43

11.45am

Power Supply

Orion reports that around 22 customers remain without power in the Port Hills. These outages are focused around Hoon Hay Valley Road, Burkes Bush, Marleys Hill and Worsleys Road.

Most customers now have power services available to them. Orion advises that customers need to have their homes checked by an electrician and certified as safe so the power can be turned back on.

If you need to bring an electrician to your property while the cordon remains in place they will need to go to the cordon and speak with Police in the first instance.

Smoke 

Due to suppression operations and thermal scan observations there is potential for smoke to be visible from the following areas:

  • Christchurch Adventure Park 
  • The top of Early Valley Road, and 
  • South of Early Valley Road towards Holmeswood Rise.

If we have strong winds dust may be generated across the city from ash. Follow CDHB for health information regarding the smoke. 

 

 

 

Port Hills Fire Update #42

Tuesday 21 February

Port Hills Fire – Update Media – 8am

 

Cordon access

Cordon access at Kennedys Bush Road and Hoon Hay Valley Road is for residents only. There is no access for the general public at this point in time. The cordons will remain controlled and residents must present photo ID (drivers licence or passport) at the cordon point. Access for residents is for reoccupation of their homes. Residents need to be aware that the fire is still active so they need to be prepared to evacuate their homes at short notice if the situation changes. 

We will update changes to the cordons for the public in future updates.

Please note this means there is no access to the recreational areas, including the tracks, off Kennedys Bush Road.

Fire response

Fire crews are continuing to work in the Port Hills today.

Geotechnical assessments

Geotechnical engineers are continuing site assessments in the Port Hills today, focusing on areas in and around Victoria Park and Dyers Pass Road. Engineers are identifying hazards and carrying out rock and slope stabilisation to make the area safe.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update # 41

Tuesday 21 February – 6am

Port Hills Fire – Update 

CORDON CHANGE

Based on the latest fire assessment information, Civil Defence Controller David Adamson is pleased to confirm that two cordons will open to residents only today, allowing them to return home. The cordons are:

  • Kennedys Bush Road
  • Hoon Hay Valley Road

 

What you need to know:

  • Residents will be checked in by police or army personnel
  • You must present a photo ID, such as a driver’s licence or passport
  • Please be patient if you face a wait at the cordon. Returning residents will be allowed through as soon as possible.

 

These roads are open to residents only.

This opening means residents will be able to return to their homes.

The recreational tracks at the top of Kennedys Bush Road will remain closed.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #40

Monday 20 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire – 10pm - Final update for Monday

 

CORDON ANNOUNCEMENT

We are expecting to make an announcement about changes to two cordons tomorrow morning. The cordons concerned are:

  • Kennedys Bush Road
  • Hoon Hay Valley Road

An announcement about these cordons will be in the first Tuesday update, about 6am.

ROCKFALL HAZARDS

Geotechnical experts have been identifying areas where there is heightened risk of rockfall following the fire.

Geotechnical engineer, Nick Charters, said forested areas had been extensively damaged both by the fire and by firefighting operations, particularly sluicing work.

Mr Charters said there was particular concern about rockfall hazards on the slopes above Dyers Pass Road and the Harry Ell Walkway.

Work would continue on Tuesday to relocate large boulders on the slopes above Dyers Pass Road. Mr Charters said holes had been excavated downhill from the boulders and it was hoped to release the boulders into those holes. However, some would fall on the road and the walkway.

He said dead or dying trees would continue to affect slope stability for some time.

Civil Defence Controller Dave Adamson said the increased risk of rockfall was one of the reasons hill recreation areas would remain closed.

This is the final update for Monday 20 February. The next update will be about 6am Tuesday morning.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update # 39

Monday 20 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire – 7.30pm

Fire hot spots

We are still receiving inquiries about the fire hazards beyond cordons in their area. For those people who would like to know more about where these hot spots are, we have uploaded a map showing the situation as it stood at 6.30pm. You can find the map online in the 6.20pm update on Newsline: ccc.govt.nz/newsline.

Fire retardant

It is expected the mist will clear tomorrow, and if this happens, fire retardant will be dropped to reinforce containment lines.

Cordons

There is nothing new to report on the lifting of cordons. Civil Defence is as keen as anyone to get the cordons lifted and this will happen as soon as it is safe to do so. The risks are under constant review, with situation reports each morning and each afternoon. Thank you for your patience. 

Steve Askin - pilot

Today the funeral service was held for helicopter pilot Steve Askin, who died last Tuesday while fighting the fire. The thoughts of everyone involved with Civil Defence are with his family and friends.

• Image below of latest cordons and fire risk map with hot spots. http://arcg.is/2kHMIqo has the interactive view

risk map.jpg

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #38

Monday 20 February 2017 – 6pm

PORT HILLS FIRE 

Work is continuing at the fire scene to reduce the risk associated with hot spots.  Twenty fire crews are continuing to work on control lines using heavy machinery with helicopter air support. The perimeter of the fire area is around 35km.

Fire modelling indicates significant potential for fire spread if there is a break-out over the next few days.

Work was undertaken to identify hot spots with thermal imaging scanning from the air this morning.  This showed there continues to be deep-seated activity at various locations in the fire ground, and unburnt vegetation at some locations.

The thermal imaging data is being analysed together with other fire behaviour assessments from specialists and is being used to identify hot spots and target these to reduce the fire risk. 

Portable weather stations are also being installed across the fire ground to gather information for fire risk assessments.

Cordon locations are being constantly reviewed, based on updated fire risk information and ground assessment of control lines. 

Work is also underway to remove trees that have been identified as being at high risk of falling due to fire damage. This will improve safety for the fire ground for operations.

The fire area has been assessed as still being extremely hazardous and there remains a risk that changing weather conditions could cause hot spots to flare up.
 

Fire retardant

Air attack crews were hoping to drop fire retardant yesterday and today but the cloud cover has prevented them from flying. It is hoped this work can resume tomorrow, if the weather clears.

fire retardant.jpg

Port Hills Fire - risk assessment report

Decisions have been based on detailed fire behaviour predictions. This has been documented in a scientific report used to support fire risk assessment for residents’ access, cordons and road closures. View a copy of the report here [PDF, 83 KB]


Council updates here: https://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1406

Traffic updates here: http://www.tfc.govt.nz/
Updates from Civil Defence here: https://web.facebook.com/ChristchurchCDEM

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #37

Monday 20 February 2017 

Update on Port Hills fires – 5pm

 

Cordon

We are receiving queries from residents wanting to know how decisions are made about allowing controlled access to properties and homes in the cordons.

Fire behaviour specialists are regularly assessing the situation based on the latest information.

At 12pm today, Nathan Keoghan, Fire Behaviour Specialist, reported:

“Despite the damp weather, areas of active burning (hot spots) remain in the fire area and along the perimeter. Our daily thermal imaging shows significant heat underground. With no further rain forecast and increasing temperatures from Monday through to Wednesday, there remains significant potential for the fire to spread.

When considering potential fire behaviour and public safety we look at the level of risk. This involves monitoring the weather forecast and using imaging of the hot spots to see if they have reduced enough to allow people safely in.”

While we don’t see any likelihood of controlled access to homes tonight, this information is still being analysed and a further update may be available later tonight.

Information Centre

The information centre located at Te Hapua:Halswell Centre has now closed. If you have any queries or requests for information please contact the Christchurch City Council call centre on 03 941 8999.

Temporary accommodation

A reminder that residents who are unable to return to their homes and need temporary accommodation can call Christchurch Civil Defence on 03 941 8803. A Christchurch Civil Defence staff member will assist residents to find an appropriate place to stay. Wherever possible we are asking that residents continue to stay with family and friends, so this service is available for those who need it most.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #36

Monday 20 February 2017 

Update on Port Hills fires –4pm

 

Fire update

The Port Hills fire area remains at 2075 hectares.  Suppression efforts include the area above Dyers Pass Road below Sign of the Kiwi into Victoria Park, in and around Sugar Loaf, the area around Marleys Hill and the southern flank of the fire. Significant progress is being made in establishing appropriate fire breaks.

Cordons

We continue to reassess our information regarding cordons. Cordons in place as at 4pm:

·         Upper Dyers Pass Road: the cordon is now above the last house on Dyers Pass Road, so above 236 Dyers Pass Road.   This means all residents in streets below these cordon points (including Longhurst Terrace and Pentre Terrace) can have access to their homes.

·         Dyers Pass Road at Governor’s Bay Road (residents only access between this cordon and the final cordon at 555 Dyers Pass Road)

·         Victoria Park Road: there is now a cordon on Victoria Park Road above the last house on this road which is the entrance to Victoria Park.

·         Kennedys Bush Road: Residents in houses up to, and including, houses at 299 and 304 Kennedys Bush Road, can now access their properties.

·         Properties up to and including 327 Worsleys Road can be accessed

·         Summit Road at the intersection of Gebbies Pass Road – this means none of the western section of Summit Rd is currently accessible

·         Hoon Hay Valley Road at the intersection of Cashmere Road meaning all of Hoon Hay Valley Road remains closed to the public.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #35

Monday 20 February 2017 – update


Update on Port Hills fires – 2pm

 

Fire assessment

Geotechnical assessments have been carried out this morning on the slopes above residential areas. While the slopes above these areas currently appear sound, this could change if we got heavy rain. Controller John Mackie says this assessment is a positive step towards reducing the risk associated with the fire, however there is still potential for a flare-up or for the fire to spread at this point in time. Infra-red imaging was also carried out this morning and results are being analysed. The results will be used to update the fire-risk models with this new information.

 

Cordon access

Controller John Mackie says: “We don’t see any likelihood of controlled access to homes today. This will be reviewed again tomorrow.”

 

Urgent accommodation

Residents who are unable to return to their homes and need temporary accommodation can call Christchurch Civil Defence on 03 941 8803. A Christchurch Civil Defence staff member will assist residents to find an appropriate place to stay. Wherever possible we are asking that residents continue to stay with family and friends, so this service is available for those who need it most. 

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #34

Update on Port Hills fires – midday

 

Weather/fog

Aircraft are still in operation over the Port Hills. However low cloud is currently restricting flight in some areas, particularly around the tops of the hills and at higher altitudes. The cloud is expected to clear by the early afternoon.

Number of homes affected by fire

More detailed assessment has been carried out on houses directly affected by the fire. Information is as follows:

  • 9 homes destroyed
  • 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
  • 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings

Cordons

There are 154 properties which remain behind the cordons. These are as follows:

Cordon

Houses affected

305 Kennedys Bush Road

83 houses

51 Hoon Hay Valley Road

19 houses

329 Worsleys Road

51 houses

Dyers Pass Road just below lower Victoria Park entrance

Nil

Dyers Pass Road – Governors Bay

Nil

Summit Road at Gebbies Pass

1 house

 

We continue to reassess our information regarding cordons.

Access

We’re regularly being asked why access is still restricted to Port Hills reserves and tracks where the fire has been extinguished. Controller John Mackie says this is purely for safety reasons as the fire has caused new hazards that are not always visible.  There is an ongoing risk to the public if the fire flares up and we need to know who is in the area around the fire.

fire-200217-t2-2Mon20Feb2.jpg

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #33

Monday 20 February 2017 –

Update on Port Hills fires –10am

 

Fire situation

The fire perimeter is around 30km covering 2075 hectares.  Full on-ground suppression of the fire is continuing today. There will be a reduced aerial operation this afternoon to enable pilot and air support crew to attend the funeral of helicopter pilot Steve Askin.

Risk assessments are continuing taking into account weather conditions with high temperatures and wind forecast today and tomorrow.

Cordon access

There are no changes to the cordons today. We will update later this afternoon if there are any expected changes. Yesterday an estimated 323 people in 192 vehicles were able to visit their home.  This information is as of 9am Monday 20 February.

Cordons

We continue to reassess our information regarding cordons. Cordons in place as at 9am:

·         Upper Dyers Pass Road: the cordon is now above the last house on Dyers Pass Road, so above 236 Dyers Pass Road.   This means all residents in streets below these cordon points (including Longhurst Terrace and Pentre Terrace) can have access to their homes.

·         Dyers Pass Road at Governor’s Bay Road.

·         Victoria Park Road: there is now a cordon on Victoria Park Road above the last house on this road.  Which is the entrance to Victoria Park.

·         Kennedys Bush Road: The cordon has been moved back so residents in houses up to, and including, houses at 299 and 304 Kennedy’s Bush Road, can now access their properties.

·         Beyond 327 Worsleys Road

·         Summit Road and Gebbies Pass Road

·         Hoon Hay Valley Road and Cashmere Road meaning Hoon Hay Valley Road remains closed to the public.

 

Rubbish collection

There is no rubbish collection today for anyone inside the cordon.

 

Power

Orion has made good progress with the restoration of services to homes and businesses affected by the Port Hills fires.

Orion crews have replaced 32 damaged power poles and restored power to 85 homes over the weekend.

As of Monday morning around 40 customers remained without power in the Port Hills area.

Restoring services to the remaining homes in the area will be a priority for the coming week, and will continue to be done progressively, as crews are given access by emergency services to the affected areas.

Each home and business premise will need to be checked to ensure power can be turned back on safely.

For updates on power outages around the city visit www.oriongroup.co.nz or call 03 363 9898 for more information.

fire-200217-T3-4MonWorsley.jpg

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #32

Sunday 19 February 2017 

Update on Port Hills fire – 9.30pm

NOTE: Unless necessary, there will be no further updates until 8AM tomorrow (Monday)

 

The Fire Incident Controller says the Port Hills fire is now under control.

“We’ve got the fire under control, but we’ve yet to get a full stranglehold on it,’’ said Incident Controller Richard McNamara. “There’s still a lot of heat in the fire, and a 30-kilometre perimeter to manage.”

He said there was more heavy machinery work to do on containment lines around the fire perimeter and more retardant drops were needed. “That will give us a secure fence between the fire and residential property,” Mr McNamara said. “We need to finish it off now. Having control lines in place is vital.”

He said the weather “was on our side today, with a north easterly and cool temperatures. But there are going to be challenges with the forecast weather conditions.”

“Anything is possible with fire.”

Wind, temperatures and terrain all had an effect on fires, he said.

“We’ve got some very steep slopes, and fire intensity doubles for every 10 degrees of slope – we’re looking at 30 degree slopes, which means the fires are six times the intensity they would be on the flat.”

Mr McNamara said that given the drier conditions forecast, they would be monitoring the threat of flare ups for at least another week. We’ll have 100 to 150 firefighters working on the fire in the coming week. They would be using 10 to 12 aircraft as well as diggers, bulldozers and tankers.

“We could get flare ups in areas like Dyers Pass, where there are forestry areas nearby that could fuel a fire,” Mr McNamara said. “We’re paying particular attention to that area.”

Cloud cover today meant fixed-wing aircraft could not get airborne this morning, and with the cloud cover returning mid-afternoon, the planes had to be stood down again.

Manager National Rural Fire Authority, Tim Mitchell, said thermal imaging was showing hotspots of 300 to 400 degrees celsius. “We’re using the information we get from the cameras to bolster containment lines,” Mr Mitchell said.

Fire Regional Manager Steve Turek said protecting houses was a priority. “We have crews on the ground,” he said. “If there are flare ups, they’ll be there to deal with them."

"We’ve got plenty of resources. We’ve had crews from as far south as Dunedin and Invercargill and as far north as Palmerston North helping us, and they can be called back any time we need them. The guys are very weary, but they’ve got a great spirit – they’re feeling like we’re over the hump. But we all know we cannot be complacent, especially with the weather we’ve got predicted.”

Lead pilot and Chairman NZ Agricultural Aviation Association, Alan Beck said the level of professionalism shown by the pilots fighting the fire from the air had been “really high”.

“Conditions have been extremely bad, with severe downdrafts to deal with. They’ve done a really professional job.’’

The blackened areas the fire had been through were giving the public something of a false impression, he said. “People look at everything blackened, with no smoke, and they think it’s all over – it’s not,” Mr Beck said. “This is one of the most dangerous fires I’ve worked on in my 45 years of flying.”

Mr Beck said pilots had not had time to stop and grieve for their colleague, pilot Steve Askin, who died when his helicopter crashed on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s his funeral tomorrow – we’ll try to get to it, but we know his family will understand if we’re needed on the job.”

 

Cordons

Rural Fire Liaison Officer Darrin Woods said the risk of vegetation igniting would be reassessed tomorrow morning. “At this stage, it’s unlikely that further restricted access will be allowed beyond the cordons on Kennedys Bush Road, Hoon Hay Valley Road, and Worsleys Road on Monday,” Mr Woods said. “This is due to the identification of areas of significant residual heat on uncontained fire edges in these locations.”

 

Current scope of the fire

  • The Port Hills fire now covers an area of 2075 hectares.
  • The main firefighting effort is taking place in the area above Dyers Pass Road below the Sign of the Kiwi and into Victoria Park, in and around Sugar Loaf, the area around Marleys Hill and the along the southern flank of the fire, where there is still a risk of it escaping out into unburnt fuel.
  • The number of confirmed destroyed structures is 11 houses and 2 large sheds.
  • The perimeter is about 35km.

 

A reminder that the Port Hills fire and surrounding zones remain off limits to everyone, including recreational users.

There have been examples of people trying to enter the zone to explore on bikes or on foot. Not only are they putting themselves at risk, but they taking the focus away from first responders who are still dealing with fire suppression activities. The wider area needs to remain clear because if there is a wind change, the fire can quickly spread. Firefighters need to respond quickly and do not want to waste valuable time evacuating members of the public.

The areas between the Rapaki Track and Gebbies Pass are completely off limits because of the unstable environment and the continuing fire operations. Public safety remains paramount.


Total fire ban remains in place

A total fire ban remains in place for the Canterbury region. This was put in place by the National Rural Fire Authority last Thursday to free up resources for the firefighting effort on the Port Hills. As firefighting resources are so stretched, there is limited capacity to respond to any other events.

The Port Hills firefighting effort has required a national multi-agency approach. Everyone involved is focused on doing anything possible to control the fire, remove threat and protect people’s lives and homes.

Stay up to date with information via Newsline

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #31

Sunday 19 February 2017 

Port Hills Fire update

 

Managed access to Hoon Hay Valley Road and Kennedys Bush Road.

 

Around 120 residents are currently at their  Kennedys Bush properties after being granted access at the cordon this morning. The cordon opened at 9am.

Residents are also going through the Hoon Hay Valley Road cordon which opened at 10am.

Access through both Kennedys Bush and Hoon Hay Valley Road will remain open until noon. We extended the time recognising that the short notice of confirmation of today’s access and the difficulty some residents had to meet this deadline.

Residents still need to register to gain access.  The can be done today at the sign in points noted below.  The reason for signing in and out is so emergency services know who is beyond the cordon at any time. 

Sign in points:

  • Kennedys Bush Road: 8am registration for 9am access at bottom of hill prior to access to Halswell Quarry off Kennedys Bush Road
  • Hoon Hay Valley Road: 9am registration for 10am access at cordon access point outside 51 Hoon Hay Valley Road

 

Residents will be required to sign in to receive vehicle access stickers and a safety briefing.  We will be ensuring all vehicles and occupants leave the cordoned area and they will be given a 15 minute warning of when the access will end.

People concerned about the welfare of their domestic animals, particularly dogs, who they had to leave behind when they were evacuated should provide these details to eoc.welfare@ccc.govt.nz

Six cordons remain in place with 150 properties still evacuated. We are constantly assessing the situation regarding these cordons

Worsley Road resident information

We are getting queries from Worsley Road residents wanting to access their properties. We will update them by noon if this is going to be possible. If access is allowed it may happen at short notice and there may be a time limit on how long it will be granted.

 

Firefighting Update

Roughly 150 fire crew have been dispatched, as efforts to extinguish the Port Hills blaze continue.

The fire is currently 68 per cent controlled, and Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire Authority principal rural fire officer Richard McNamara says he hopes to bring aircraft numbers down over the next few days, to give crews a well-deserved break.

He says the winds are stronger today than previously, and a considerable amount of low cloud blankets the Port Hills. Wind direction and hot spots remain the primary risk factors

McNamara says 15 aircraft will be dispatched in total, made up of 12 helicopters, and 3 fixed wing water bombers.

We are working on a new map showing the hot spots and areas at greatest risk which will be made available as soon as we can.

 

Port Hills closure

The Christchurch City Council has closed recreation areas of the Port Hills to the public due to ongoing safety risk. Restricted zones are for all tracks and open areas in the Port Hills, including Victoria Park and the Rapaki, Mt Vernon and Huntsbury tracks. Signage is on tracks. The restrictions are like to be in place for several weeks while fire crews extinguish the fires and all safety issues are dealt with.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #30

Sunday 19 February 2017 

Update 30 9am

Managed access to Hoon Hay Valley Road and Kennedys Bush Road.

Around 30 residents were waiting at the cordons when registration for access through the Hoon Hay Valley Road and Kennedys Bush cordons opened at 8am today.

Access will remain open until noon. We extended the time recognising that the short notice of confirmation of today’s access and the difficulty some residents are having meeting this deadline.

Residents still need to register to gain access.  The can be done today at the sign in points noted below.  The reason for signing in and out is so emergency services know who is beyond the cordon at any time. 

Sign in points:

  • Kennedys Bush Road: 8am registration for 9am access at bottom of hill prior to access to Halswell Quarry off Kennedys Bush Road
  • Hoon Hay Valley Road: 9am registration for 10am access at cordon access point outside 51 Hoon Hay Valley Road

Residents will be required to sign in to receive vehicle access stickers and a safety briefing.  We will be ensuring all vehicles and occupants leave the cordoned area and they will be given a 15 minute warning of when the access will end.

Firefighting Update

Roughly 150 fire crew have been dispatched, as efforts to extinguish the Port Hills blaze continue.

The fire is currently 68 per cent controlled, and Marlborough Kaikoura Rural Fire Authority principal rural fire officer Richard McNamara says he hopes to bring aircraft numbers down over the next few days, to give crews a well-deserved break.

He says the winds are stronger today than previously, and a considerable amount of low cloud blankets the Port Hills.

McNamara says 15 aircraft will be dispatched in total, made up of 12 helicopters, and 3 fixed wing water bombers.

Port Hills closure

The Christchurch City Council has closed recreation areas of the Port Hills to the public due to ongoing safety risk. Restricted zones are for all tracks and open areas in the Port Hills, including Victoria Park and the Rapaki, Mt Vernon and Huntsbury tracks. Signage is on tracks. The restrictions are like to be in place for several weeks while fire crews extinguish the fires and all safety issues are dealt with.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #29

Sunday 19 February 2017 

Public Update 8.30am

Managed access to Hoon Hay Valley Road and Kennedys Bush Road.

The green light has been given to today’s managed access for residents to properties behind the Hoon Hay Valley Road and Kennedys Bush cordons.

We note that this is really short notice so there will be some flexibility for residents are running short of time. The access has been extended until noon today in recognition of how important it is for residents. Residents still need to register to gain access.  The can be done today at the sign in points noted below.  The reason for signing in and out is so emergency services know who is beyond the cordon at any time. 

Sign in points:

  • Kennedys Bush Road: 8am registration for 9am access at bottom of hill prior to access to Halswell Quarry off Kennedys Bush Road
  • Hoon Hay Valley Road: 9am registration for 10am access at cordon access point outside 51 Hoon Hay Valley Road

We are advising the public to be prepared for waits at the cordon as there will be a number of people registering.   Residents will be required  to sign in to receive vehicle access stickers and a safety briefing.  We will be ensuring all vehicles and occupants leave the cordoned area and they will be given a 15 minute warning of when the access will end.

Firefighting Update

Significant progress was made overnight to assess fire containment lines (the buffer between the fire zone and residential homes). The fire remains under control, but it is not yet out. Progress around the full perimeter of the fire indicates that it is 68 per cent controlled, which means either bare earth or blacked-out ground for 10 metres.

Hot spots mean there is still a risk of flare ups, especially with winds and temperatures forecast to rise .

Firefighting efforts today will continue to identify and put out hot spots and to conduct more drops of fire retardant, particularly in the Marley’s Hill area to strengthen containment lines around Sugarloaf communications aerial.

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Christchurch Civil Defence Update #28

Saturday 18 February 2017 

Update on Port Hills fire – 11PM

NOTE: Unless necessary, there will be no further updates until 8AM tomorrow (Sunday)

 

Public safety risk in Port Hills

Christchurch City Council has closed areas of the Port Hills because of the ongoing public safety risk.

The Council will erect signs today (Sunday) on many popular walking and mountain-biking tracks in the Port Hills to advise people of the safety issues and the closures.

These restricted zones cover all tracks and open areas in the Port Hills, including Victoria Park and the Rapaki, Mt Vernon and Huntsbury tracks.

These restrictions are likely to be in place for several weeks while fire crews extinguish the fires and deal with all safety issues.

Temporary resident access to cordon zones

As a result of significant progress tonight in assessing fire containment lines, residents will be permitted temporary access to the cordoned zones between 9am and 11am on Sunday 19 February.

Selwyn’s Emergency Operations Centre will issue a confirmation of this managed access at 8am. Weather conditions and the level of risk of the fire to spread will be key considerations in the access going ahead.

If confirmed, Police will manage access to the zones and residents will need to register if they have not already done so, either online, by calling the CCC Call Centre at 941 8999, or at the cordon entry.

Access points will be located at 305 Kennedys Bush and 51 Hoon Hay Valley Road only.

Sign-in and compulsory briefing for Kennedys Bush Road residents will happen at 8am for a 9am entry.

Sign-in and compulsory briefing for Hoon Hay Valley Road residents will happen at 9am for a 10am entry.

Residents will be permitted access to retrieve essential items only. The managed access will be restricted to adult residents only.

Worsleys Road remains the most at risk of fire spreading, and with a number of complex risk factors, it is unsafe to enter. Options for access to Worsleys Road properties will be re-assessed tomorrow (Sunday).


Firefighting operation update

Firefighting crews have made good progress in controlling the Port Hills fire today; however, it is far from being put out.

Rural and urban fire crews have done a good job of containing the fire around the 29km perimeter, which is now about 68 per cent controlled. This is defined as bare earth or blacked-out ground for at least 10 metres. 

Today 20 fire crews have continued to create a 20-metre fire-break with heavy machinery and by hand. Air operations also helped ground crew who were identifying hotpots and putting them out. 

Three fixed-wing aircraft dropped about 60,000 litres of retardant today over a 1.5-kilometre line along the perimeter of the fire area, between Kennedy’s Bush Road and Hoon Hay Valley Road. Each aircraft made 10 drops of 2,000 litres each. The line should be completed by nightfall.

If weather conditions remain favourable, another retardant drop will be made in the Marley’s Hill area to strengthen the existing line around the Sugarloaf communications aerial.


Risk of flare-ups high

Fire behaviour specialist Nathan Keoghan says it is important to remember that the fire is not out, and that there could still be a few difficult days ahead.

Mr Keoghan says the fire risk remains high. There is still a risk of flare-ups that may ignite unburnt vegetation fuel inside the burnt area, as well as outside the containment and control lines.  

The ground temperature of hotspots in the fire area can be anything between 100 and 500 degrees Celsius.

“The 3mm of rain over the last 24 hours has been helpful; however, more is needed to reduce the risk of flare-ups. About 50mm in one day, or 30mm over three consecutive days, is needed to cool the extreme ground temperatures and lessen the risk of unburnt fuel catching fire,” says Mr Keoghan.

“Warm temperatures forecast with windy conditions could change things very quickly. It would draw any moisture from the ground in a few hours and could result in flare-ups.”


Total fire ban remains in place

A total fire ban remains in place for the Canterbury region. This was put in place by the National Rural Fire Authority last Thursday to free up resources for the firefighting effort on the Port Hills.

As firefighting resources are so stretched, there is limited capacity to respond to any other events.

The Port Hills firefighting effort has required a national multi-agency approach. Everyone involved is focused on doing anything possible to control the fire, remove threat and protect people’s lives and homes.

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Christchurch Civil Defence Update – 7PM #27

Saturday 18 February 2017 

Update on Port Hills fire

Civil Defence is reminding people that the Port Hills fire and surrounding zones remain off limits to everyone, including recreational users.

There have been examples of people trying to enter the zone to explore on bikes or on foot. Not only are they putting themselves at risk, but they taking the focus away from first responders who are still dealing with fire suppression activities. The wider area needs to remain clear because if there is a wind change, the fire can quickly spread. Firefighters need to respond quickly and do not want to waste valuable time evacuating members of the public.

The areas between the Rapaki Track and Gebbies Pass are completely off limits because of the unstable environment and the continuing fire operations. Public safety remains paramount.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #26

Saturday 18 February 2017 

Update on Port Hills fire – 5:30pm

Three cordons have been moved back today, allowing residents to return to their homes. Civil Defence Controller David Adamson said there were now fewer than 150 properties remaining inside cordons. Cordons are still in place in Kennedy’s Bush Road, Hoon Hay Valley Road, Worsleys Road and Dyers Pass Road (both ends), Summit Road at Gebbies Pass, and a new one on Victoria Park Road ­- which has allowed people access to properties further down the hill.

Unfortunately no temporary access behind the cordon will be possible today. This is because secure fire containment lines – which provide a buffer between the fire zone and residents’ houses – has not been completed. We are working hard to make this happen for residents tomorrow.  We aim to get an update on the potential timing for this access is to you by 8am tomorrow.

An updated map of the cordons is available on Newsline: https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1406

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #25

Saturday 18 February 2017

Update on Port Hills fire – 3.30pm

Cordons

Authorities have reviewed the cordons for Dyers Pass Road, Victoria Park Road and Kennedys Bush Road and they have been moved back after a robust risk assessment.

·        Dyers Pass Road: the cordon is now above the last house on Dyers Pass Road, so above 236 Dyers Pass Road.   This means all residents in streets below these cordon points (including Longhurst Terrace and Pentre Terrace) can have access to their homes.

  *   Victoria Park Road: there is now a cordon on Victoria Park Road above the last house on this road.  Which is the entrance to Victoria Park.

  *   Kennedys Bush Road: The cordon has been moved back so residents in houses up to, and including, houses at 299 and 304 Kennedy’s Bush Road, can now access their properties.

Police and the NZ Defence Force continue to patrol in and around the cordoned areas.

Message from the Fire Service

·         Ensure facilities are safe (Gas/Electricity/Oil).  If any doubt, don’t switch on and contact a qualified tradesperson

·         If you suspect a gas leak call 111

·         Ensure flammable materials are kept away from buildings.  Keep vegetation low and tidy close to buildings.  Refer here<http://www.wrfa.org.nz/uploads/docs/firesmart%20home%20owners%20manual%20v3.pdf> for more details

·         When you get back into your property, check your smoke alarms are working and that you have an escape plan. Refer here<http://www.fire.org.nz/Fire-Safety/Fire-Safety-Advice/Pages/Inside-your-home.html> for more details

·         If there are still power cuts at your property, use BBQ’s appropriately.  Do not use indoors and check for gas leaks before use.  Use torches rather than naked flames.

·         Keep situationally aware of what is happening around you.  Check media outlets regularly for situational updates

·         Refer to your council website as most areas have a total fire ban in place

Insurance message

·         TALK TO YOUR INSURER BEFORE YOU START ANY CLEAN-UP OR REPAIRS

·         Most policies will cover you for the cost of cleaning and repairs

·         Most policies will cover you for alternative accommodation if you cannot return to your home

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #24

Saturday 18  February 2017 –

Update on Port Hills fires -2pm

Fire-fighting conditions

Please find attached heat maps which were presented at this morning’s public meeting in Spreydon. These maps are from infrared imagery which show hot spots above and below ground. They also show where the cordons are. Right click to open the link.

 

http://ecan.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=f5937e8dbd484c43a4053f39b2ab2187 (Story Map - Canterbury Maps Link)

http://ecan.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=420a5cebc6df4c208fe03740ffeea72a (Map Only)

 

Drizzle conditions continue – this has positive and negatives. The positive is that it is reducing fire spread, but the downside is it is restricting access to some areas for firefighters. 

The protection of property is again being given high priority.

The Fire Service continues to remain concerned about the area around Victoria Park and east of Dyers Pass Road, Marleys Hill electronic equipment and the southern flank of the fire which has terrain and vegetation, suitable for fire spread.

Heavy machinery is being used to establish fire containment lines. This is difficult and dangerous work in steep and uneven terrain.

Geotechnical experts are continuing work to assess the risk of rock-fall in areas where there has been significant loss of vegetation.

Cordons

Cordons remain in place in Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road, Dyers Pass Road at the Sign of the Takahe, and at the top of Huntsbury Avenue. An announcement will be made shortly on these.

Residents are thanked for their patience as risks continue to be assessed around whether or not these cordons can be moved or lifted.  Safety is paramount and access can be made available only when the Fire Service determines the risk to be at an acceptable level. 

Police and the NZ Defence Force continue to patrol in and around the cordoned areas.

Residents who are still not able to return to their homes after this afternoon’s revision of the cordons, are encouraged to register to gain access to their property for the purposes of collecting critical items, checking on animals. More than 100 registrations have been received.  Civil defence will be in touch with these people today to arrange access to their properties as soon as possible.  

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #23

Saturday 18February 2017 –

Update on Port Hills fires -12.30pm

Fire-fighting conditions

Drizzle is falling and expected to turn to light rain with north easterly winds. These will be good conditions for firefighters blacking out the fire perimeter.

The protection of property is again being given high priority.

The Fire Service remains concerned about the area around Victoria Park and east of Dyers Pass Road, Marleys Hill electronic equipment and the southern flank of the fire which has terrain and vegetation that suitable for fire spread.

Heavy machinery is being used to establish fire containment lines. This is difficult and dangerous work in steep and uneven terrain.

Geotechnical experts are continuing work to assess the risk of rock-fall in areas where there has been significant loss of vegetation.

Cordons

Cordons remain in place in Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road, Dyers Pass Road at the Sign of the Takahe, and at the top of Huntsbury Avenue.

Residents are thanked for their patience as risks continue to be assessed around whether or not these cordons can be moved or lifted.  Safety is paramount and access can be made available only when the Fire Service determines the risk to be at an acceptable level. 

Police and the NZ Defence Force continue to patrol in and around the cordoned areas.

Residents who are not yet able to return home are encouraged to register to gain access to their property for the purposes of collecting critical items, checking on animals. Around 100 registrations have been received.  Civil defence will be in touch with these people today to arrange access to their properties as soon as possible. 

Residents’ meeting

A meeting for affected residents has been held this morning. About 400 people attended. It was a valuable opportunity for emergency services to explain to residents the current situation and to hear residents’ feedback and concerns. We are now acting to address the issues raised.

Health message

Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey: “We are aware that some people evacuated have left their medications behind. If you need a repeat script, you can get this from any of the after-hour health clinics. Pharmacists can access people’s medication records, so are able to dispense emergency supplies of medication.’’ 

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #22

Saturday 18 February 2017 – 8am

Update on Port Hills fires -7am

Six cordons remain in place as at 6.00am.  Residents are thanked for their patience as risks continue to be assessed around whether or not these cordons can be moved or lifted.  Safety is paramount and access can only be made available when the Fire Service determines the risk to be at an acceptable level. 

Fire crews have been working through the night monitoring the situation and managing hot spots. The priority has been protecting property. Fire crews have also been working  around the 29km perimeter of the fire to ensure it is contained in the fire area. This is preparing for the application of fire retardant today.

Police and the NZ Defence Force continue to patrol in and around the cordoned areas.

Residents who are not yet able to return home are encouraged to register to gain access to their property for the purposes of collecting critical items, checking on animals. Around 80 registrations have been received.  Civil defence will be in touch with these people around access as soon as possible. 

Residents’ meeting

A meeting for affected residents –those in the cordoned areas - will take place at 10.00am this morning at South West Baptist Church Gymnasium, corner Lyttelton Street and Cobham Street, Sydenham.

Speakers are: Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Christchurch Civil Defence Controller, Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey and representatives from NZ Police and NZ Fire Service or Rural Fire.  

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Christchurch Civil Defence Update #21

Friday 17 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire 8pm

Authorities remove several more fire cordons

Authorities have lifted several further cordons after assessing the risk from the Port Hills fire.

Cordons along Cashmere Road have been removed where it intersects with:

  • Shalamar Drive
  • Worsleys Road
  • Opihi Street
  • Hendersons Road
  • Sutherlands Road

A cordon is in place at the intersection of Hoon Hay Valley Road and Cashmere Road meaning Hoon Hay Valley Road remains closed to the public.

The cordon at the intersection of Kennedys Bush Road and Cashmere Road is moved to the other side of the intersection, keeping the uphill section of Kennedys Bush Road closed.

Christchurch Civil Defence controller Dave Adamson says the ground crews have worked very hard to do the necessary risk assessment to enable people in these areas to return to their properties.

“This is a significant step and we appreciate everybody’s patience to date, and hope others will take this as a sign that we are working as hard as possible to make sure it is safe for them to return home.”

There are still cordons in place in the following areas:

  • Beyond 327 Worsleys Road
  • Dyers Pass Road at Hackthorne lower and upper intersections
  • Dyers Pass Road at Governor’s Bay Road
  • Summit Road and Gebbies Pass Road

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #20

Friday 17 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire 6pm

Registration process for property access

Authorities have established a process for people to register to gain access to properties within the cordon and collect essential supplies

Visits will be prioritised according to urgency, based on the need to collect essential items such as:

  • Livelihood –  essential items for your business or study
  • Health ­­– if you need to get medication or other essential items
  • Personal welfare – essential items such as clothing and documents
  • Animal welfare – pets and livestock

People can call the Christchurch City Council Customer Centre on 941 8999 or 0800 800 169 to register or head online to fill out a request, go to ccc.govt.nz/evacuated-homeowners-access-registration/

People who register will be contacted and those who are able to go to their property will be accompanied by a police officer.

It is recommended adults only attend.

Cordons lifted

The cordons at the corner of Early Valley Road and Old Tai Tapu Road and at the corner of Osterholts Road and Old Tai Tapu Road have been lifted.

The lifting of these cordons and the earlier lifting of the cordon at the corner of Cashmere Road and Penruddock Rise (accessible only from the east), means there are now no cordons on Old Tai Tapu Road and that much of Westmorland has now reopened, allowing people with properties to return.

The lifting of remaining cordons is a high priority for emergency services and we still hope to lift further cordons this afternoon.

A map showing current cordons is available online at www.tfc.govt.nz.

Cordons can be lifted only after full risk assessments have been completed. This work includes expert assessment of the fire hazard, the danger posed by damaged structures, environmental hazards such as asbestos, and geotechnical hazards caused by the loss of vegetation.

 

Welfare centre

From 3pm today (Friday) the Civil Defence welfare centre at Te Hapua Halswell Centre shifted its focus from on-site accommodation to providing recovery assistance and information.

There will be staff available to deal with inquiries. People with accommodation needs can go to the centre to be assessed to see if they meet the criteria for assistance.

The centre will remain open until 7pm and will open again from 10-4 on Saturday and Sunday. A decision about whether it remains in place beyond that will be made based on the demand.

 

Council updates here: https://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1406
Traffic updates here: http://www.tfc.govt.nz

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #19

Thursday 17  February 2017,

Update on Port Hills fires -3pm

CORDONS

The cordons at the corner of Early Valley Road and Old Tai Tapu Road and at the corner of Osterholts Road and Old Tai Tapu Road have been lifted.

The lifting of these cordons and the earlier lifting of the cordon at the corner of Cashmere Road and Penruddock Rise (accessible only from the east), means there are now no cordons on Old Tai Tapu Road and that much of Westmorland has now reopened, allowing more than 1400 people (Census data for residents) to return to their homes.

The lifting of remaining cordons is a high priority for emergency services and we still hope to lift further cordons this afternoon.

A map showing current cordons is available online at www.tfc.govt.nz.

Cordons can be lifted only after full risk assessments have been completed. This work includes expert assessment of the fire hazard, the danger posed by damaged structures, environmental hazards such as asbestos, and geotechnical hazards caused by the loss of vegetation.

ACCESS TO PROPERTIES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED INSIDE REMAINING CORDONS

Agencies are working together to develop a process for residents whose homes have suffered severe or total damage and remain cordoned to register their contact details.

Peole can call the Christchurch City Council contact centre on 941 8999. Online registration will also be available.

People will be asked to provide their contact details, the address of their damaged property and the reason they need to return.

If their property is considered safe to visit, a time will be arranged for them to be taken in behind the cordon to visit their property for a short time, accompanied by a police officer and a fire officer.

Visits will be prioritised according to urgency, based on the need to collect essential items such as medical supplies, to retrieve or provide care for pets or livestock, or to collect items essential for work or study. 

 

 

 

CORDON UPDATE - 12pm

CASHMERE RD/PENRUDDOCK RISE

One cordon on the perimeter of the Port Hills fire has now been lifted.

The cordon at the corner of Cashmere Road and Penruddock Rise has now been lifted and these residents only are able to return to their properties.  Access to the area is only available from the east.

All other cordons remain in place. Their status is being reviewed as risk assessment information becomes available. Cordons will be lifted only where it is safe to do so.

We hope to announce the lifting of some further cordons early this afternoon. 

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #18

Thursday 17  February 2017,

Update on Port Hills fires -8am

A key priority for today is to develop a process to allow evacuated residents back into their homes where it is safe do so.

Planning is underway to reduce the cordoned area around the perimeter of the fire, and a decision on which cordons will be lifted is expected early this afternoon. A risk assessment is being done from the ground and in the air to map areas. Although there was drizzle this morning, wind is expected to increase this afternoon and any dampness will be dried out. There is still extreme heat in the ground and in vegetation which still poses a risk of flare ups.

 

Firefighting update

The fire at this stage is  largely contained but not yet controlled. The fire area is not expanding and firefighters have made great progress in putting in fire breaks around the perimeter of the fire area. Today we have diggers working in several areas to create fire breaks. In those areas that diggers can’t access we’re focusing on dropping fire retardant to stop the spread of the fire.  There’s still a lot of dry vegetation and areas of extreme heat within the fire ground, so there’s still a very real risk of flare-ups – especially with forecast north-east winds of up to 50km today.

Overall we’re starting to move from air-based to ground-based firefighting – water drops won’t put the fire out completely so we have to back that up with the heavy machinery to put fire breaks in and dig out the hot spots. That’s where a lot of our focus is today with diggers working at several locations, along with 15 helicopters and three fixed wing aircraft.

 

Education

Cashmere Primary School is closed again today.

Kidsfirst Cashmere Kindergarten is closed today.

 

Bus services

Blue Line - all trips will end at Princess Margaret Hospital, no trips will travel to Cashmere Hill.

145 Westmorland to Eastgate - all trips will end and start their trips on Rose St until further notice.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #17

Thursday 17  February 2017,

Update on Port Hills fires -6.25am.

Slightly coolerweather conditions and higher humidity  with some light rain having fallen early this morning is welcome relief for emergency services fighting the Port Hills fire in Christchurch..

It has been a quiet night with a few minor flare ups contained by fire crews. Thermal imaging is being used to identify hot spots.

There is a lot of work to do to clean up the whole fire area and this will go on for several days.

Te Hapua Welfare Centre remains open with a small amount of people staying there. Nga Hau E Wha Marae and the Selwyn welfare centre have been closed.

Police cordons are still in place and these areas are still considered dangerous. The situation is being constantly reassessed and we will provide further information as soon as it is available.

Fifteen crew from the United States Coast Guard heavy icebreaker USCGC Polar Star are assisting police and the New Zealand Defence Force in the evacuated areas.

A Defence Force Hercules is expected to arrive in Christchurch from Australia today with fire retardant.

Road closure information:

  • Cashmere Rd is closed between Hendersons Road and Kaiwara Street.
  • Penruddock Rise is also closed at Cashmere Road
  • Worsleys Road is closed at Cashmere Road
  • Hoon Hay Valley Road is closed at Cashmere Road
  • Kennedys Bush Road is closed at Cashmere Road
  • Sutherland Road is closed at Cashmere Road
  • 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 at Old Tai Tapu Road

 

 

UPDATE 11:30pm

Please see information below about the firefighting effort tonight.

Rural fire will have three crews with 15 staff operating through the night. NZ Fire Service will have three crews and three tankers, with 21 firefighters operating. The focus of efforts will be on patrolling and monitoring. Additional crews will be on standby in case of any further flare-ups.

The Christchurch EOC will be operating overnight.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #16

Thursday 16 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire 10pm

Key points

  • Fifteen crew from United States Coast Guard heavy icebreaker USCGC Polar Star are assisting
  • Hercules expected to arrive in Christchurch on Friday from Australia with fire retardant
  • The fire covers an area of 2075 hectares
  • 2850 people have been evacuated
  • 11 people are staying at the welfare centre at Te Hapua Halswell Centre
  • Cordons remain in place with police and Defence Force staff patrolling

Firefighters will use thermal-imaging technology and high-pressure hoses to manage hotspots within the Port Hills fire overnight.

Christchurch Civil Defence controller Dave Adamson said the nearly 400 firefighters working to control the blaze on Thursday had made good progress, helped in part by more favourable weather conditions.

“We have had significant fire breaks created with heavy machinery and the firefighting effort has targeted the perimeter. While there are still areas burning out of control, the fire is contained within the 2075 hectare area.

“What’s encouraging is that the weather forecast looks promising for the next two days with high cloud, cooler temperatures and a chance of rain on Saturday. However, the situation remains volatile, as we’ve seen with some reported flare-ups, including one on Kennedy’s Bush Road, so the cordons remain in place to ensure personal safety and security of property.”

There are 11 people staying at the welfare centre at Te Hapua Halswell Centre.

Fifteen crew from the United States Coast Guard heavy icebreaker USCGC Polar Star are assisting police and the New Zealand Defence Force in the evacuated areas.

Another 31 police are due to arrive in Christchurch on Friday.

Orion reports that as at 7.45pm there were 126 customers still without power. Some supplies are expected to be restored overnight.

 

Media contact:

027 505 3476

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Christchurch Civil Defence Update #15

Thursday 16 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire 7.30pm

Key points

  • United States Coast Guard heavy icebreaker USCGC Polar Star offers to help
  • Hercules heads to Australia to collect fire retardant
  • 14 helicopters and 3 fixed wing aircraft were used today
  • Special fire pods are being used to shoot high-pressure water into the ground to extinguish roots burning below the surface
  • Almost 400 people have been on the ground fighting the blaze
  • Efforts are focused on controlling the fire – it is not possible to assess the status of individual properties at this stage
  • Cordons remain in place with police and Defence Force staff patrolling

Offers of assistance have been received from the United States and Australia to support the Port Hills fire response.

Christchurch Civil Defence controller Dave Adamson welcomed the offer of assistance.

Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, the Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said an Air Force C-130 Hercules strategic airlift aircraft left for Australia this afternoon to pick up five pallets of firefighting foam and other fire-retardant materials.

A detachable fire pod is also being shipped from Wellington this evening, in addition to the four NZDF fire pods currently being used to fight the Christchurch fires. The pods can be transported on a variety of vehicles and use an ultra high-pressure hose with a pointed nozzle that can pierce the ground and douse burning roots.

An additional fire response team made up of four experienced firefighters has been sent to join the six Army firefighters currently working with Selwyn fire authorities.

Mr Adamson said emergency services recognise that many of the residents evacuated are concerned about the condition of their properties in the fire zone and are anxious to return home.  At this stage the Emergency Operations Centre has received no information about the status of individual homes.

Much of the area behind cordons is very dangerous and the priority for all agencies is to get the fire under control.

Firefighters are working on the ground and from the air, doing everything possible to keep the fire away from houses.

“Police have advised that it is expected that a large number of homes will have suffered damage from smoke, heat and fire. The number of damaged homes in total will not be known until the fire emergency has ended.

“We are aware that this is an extremely anxious time for residents who have had to leave their homes and we are working with other agencies to arrange for this information to be passed on to homeowners in the affected areas as soon as the information becomes available.”

Police have advised that all current cordons will remain in place tonight and into tomorrow. Police say that residents who chose to remain behind the cordons now have a special provision to exit the cordons and return. To re-enter they must register at the cordon point and provide photo identification. They must also carry documentation proving their occupancy such as a bill or rates invoice.

Power supply

Around 128 customers remain without power in the Port Hills area. The power supply has been maintained to the rest of the city throughout the day, and Orion continues to closely monitor Christchurch's power supply and respond to any issues arising as a result of the fires continuing in the Port Hills.

Lines in the fire affected area in the Port Hills remain off grid, and power continues to be rerouted, including through Orion's new underground, Northern Loop cable.

Orion asks residents and businesses to conserve power where ever possible, to reduce the load on the network while it is in contingency mode.

It is possible that there will be further outages until the fires are fully extinguished. Orion urges residents in the Port Hills area to take particular care around electricity at this time.

For updates on power outages around the city visit www.oriongroup.co.nz or call 03 363 9898 for more information.

Welfare

The teams providing welfare support are truly grateful for offers of help for services, but there is no need at the moment – the teams are well-resourced.

People can call 0800 777 846 for support and general practice medical centres are open for those who feel unwell or unable to cope. It is normal to feel anxious or stressed during abnormal events, and talking about how you feel to someone you trust can help. Advice can be found online at:

http://allright.org.nz/articles/practical-tips-coping-disaster/

https://www.facebook.com/allrightnz/?fref=ts 

People with financial needs can contact Work and Income (0800 559 009) or go into any site in Christchurch. Civil Defence payments are available, more information can be found here:

https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/about-work-and-income/news/2017/2017/christchurch-fires.html

Firefighting efforts

More than 390 firefighters have been fighting the fire today, including 26 rural fire crews with more than 200 personnel between them. The fire service has 62 crews with 190 pumps and tankers, and more than 160 firefighters on the ground.

The fire service is asking people to stay away from the area so that the fire crews can do their work safely. The terrain is difficult and challenging, posing a risk to firefighters.

There are 14 helicopters flying and three fixed wing aircraft on the scene.

Fire ban

National Rural Fire Authority has put a total fire ban in place from South Canterbury to Hurunui.

Road closures

  • Cashmere Rd is closed between Hendersons Rd and Kaiwara St.
  • Penruddock Rise is also closed at Cashmere Rd
  • Worsleys Rd is closed at Cashmere Rd
  • Hoon Hay Valley Rd is closed at Cashmere
  • Kennedys Bush Road is closed at Cashmere Rd
  • Sutherland Road is closed at Cashmere Rd
  • 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 at Old Tai Tapu Rd

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Port Hills Fire Update #14a

Thursday 16 February 2017 2.15am

Road closures

The following roads are currently closed because of the Port Hills fire.

Please stay well away from these roads, so that emergency services  can do their job and keep people safe.

  • Cashmere Rd is closed at Hendersons Rd
  • Cashmere Rd is closed at Kaiwara St
  • Worsleys Rd is closed at Cashmere Rd
  • Hoon Hay Valley Rd is closed at Cashmere Rd
  • Kennedys Bush Road is closed at Cashmere Rd
  • Sutherland Road is closed at Cashmere Rd
  • Penruddock Rse is closed at Cashmere Rd
  • 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 at Old Tai Tapu Rd
  • Holmes Road is closed at Old Tai Tapu Rd.

 

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #14

Thursday 16 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire 7.30pm

Key points

·         United States Coast Guard heavy icebreaker USCGC Polar Star offers to help

·         Hercules heads to Australia to collect fire retardant

·         14 helicopters and 3 fixed wing aircraft were used today

·         Special fire pods are being used to shoot high-pressure water into the ground to extinguish roots burning below the surface

·         Almost 400 people have been on the ground fighting the blaze

·         Efforts are focused on controlling the fire – it is not possible to assess the status of individual properties at this stage

·         Cordons remain in place with police and Defence Force staff patrolling

Offers of assistance have been received from the United States and Australia to support the Port Hills fire response.

Christchurch Civil Defence controller Dave Adamson welcomed the offer of assistance.

Air Commodore Kevin McEvoy, the Acting Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said an Air Force C-130 Hercules strategic airlift aircraft left for Australia this afternoon to pick up five pallets of firefighting foam and other fire-retardant materials.

A detachable fire pod is also being shipped from Wellington this evening, in addition to the four NZDF fire pods currently being used to fight the Christchurch fires. The pods can be transported on a variety of vehicles and use an ultra high-pressure hose with a pointed nozzle that can pierce the ground and douse burning roots.

An additional fire response team made up of four experienced firefighters has been sent to join the six Army firefighters currently working with Selwyn fire authorities.

Mr Adamson said emergency services recognise that many of the residents evacuated are concerned about the condition of their properties in the fire zone and are anxious to return home.  At this stage the Emergency Operations Centre has received no information about the status of individual homes.

Much of the area behind cordons is very dangerous and the priority for all agencies is to get the fire under control.

Firefighters are working on the ground and from the air, doing everything possible to keep the fire away from houses.

“Police have advised that it is expected that a large number of homes will have suffered damage from smoke, heat and fire. The number of damaged homes in total will not be known until the fire emergency has ended.

“We are aware that this is an extremely anxious time for residents who have had to leave their homes and we are working with other agencies to arrange for this information to be passed on to homeowners in the affected areas as soon as the information becomes available.”

Police have advised that all current cordons will remain in place tonight and into tomorrow. Police say that residents who chose to remain behind the cordons now have a special provision to exit the cordons and return. To re-enter they must register at the cordon point and provide photo identification. They must also carry documentation proving their occupancy such as a bill or rates invoice.

Fire-15217-T3-5West-of-Takahe.jpg

Power supply

Around 128 customers remain without power in the Port Hills area. The power supply has been maintained to the rest of the city throughout the day, and Orion continues to closely monitor Christchurch's power supply and respond to any issues arising as a result of the fires continuing in the Port Hills.

Lines in the fire affected area in the Port Hills remain off grid, and power continues to be rerouted, including through Orion's new underground, Northern Loop cable.

Orion asks residents and businesses to conserve power where ever possible, to reduce the load on the network while it is in contingency mode.

It is possible that there will be further outages until the fires are fully extinguished. Orion urges residents in the Port Hills area to take particular care around electricity at this time.

For updates on power outages around the city visit www.oriongroup.co.nz or call 03 363 9898 for more information.

fire-160217-T2-11.jpg

Welfare

The teams providing welfare support are truly grateful for offers of help for services, but there is no need at the moment – the teams are well-resourced.

People can call 0800 777 846 for support and general practice medical centres are open for those who feel unwell or unable to cope. It is normal to feel anxious or stressed during abnormal events, and talking about how you feel to someone you trust can help. Advice can be found online at:

http://allright.org.nz/articles/practical-tips-coping-disaster/

https://www.facebook.com/allrightnz/?fref=ts 

People with financial needs can contact Work and Income (0800 559 009) or go into any site in Christchurch. Civil Defence payments are available, more information can be found here:

https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/about-work-and-income/news/2017/2017/christchurch-fires.html

Firefighting efforts

More than 390 firefighters have been fighting the fire today, including 26 rural fire crews with more than 200 personnel between them. The fire service has 62 crews with 190 pumps and tankers, and more than 160 firefighters on the ground.

The fire service is asking people to stay away from the area so that the fire crews can do their work safely. The terrain is difficult and challenging, posing a risk to firefighters.

There are 14 helicopters flying and three fixed wing aircraft on the scene.

16665781_1842699739302816_2770298118025994686_o.jpg

Fire ban

National Rural Fire Authority has put a total fire ban in place from South Canterbury to Hurunui.

Road closures

·         Cashmere Rd is closed between Hendersons Rd and Kaiwara St.

·         Penruddock Rise is also closed at Cashmere Rd

·         Worsleys Rd is closed at Cashmere Rd

·         Hoon Hay Valley Rd is closed at Cashmere

·         Kennedys Bush Road is closed at Cashmere Rd

·         Sutherland Road is closed at Cashmere Rd

·         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 at Old Tai Tapu Rd

Port Hills Fire and Restricted Area.jpgPort Hills Fire exclusion zone:

Civil Defence is recommending no recreational activities, such as camping, cycling or picnics, take place within the yellow line on this map until further notice. The red zone is the fire area.

Residents that live within the zone who have not already been evacuated are not affected. If further evacuations are required, then a formal evacuation will take place. If you feel unsafe or worried you are advised to self-evacuate.

An interactive map can be found here: http://ecan.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html…



Council updates here: https://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1406
http://www.tfc.govt.nz/…/latest…/port-hills-fire-update-6pm/
Full health warning here: 
https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1405
Updates from Civil Defence here: https://web.facebook.com/ChristchurchCDEM

 

 

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #13

Thursday 16 February 2017 

Update on Port Hills Fire 11.45am

fire1.jpg

Fire area as of 7am

 

 

More than 130 firefighters are currently on the ground fighting the Port Hills fire.

The main activity is in the northern area of the Port Hills, including Hoon Hay Valley Road, Dyers Pass Road and Worsley Road.

The Fire Service has 40 crews with 45 pumps and tankers, and more than 130 firefighters on the ground. There are 26 rural fire crews with more than 200 personnel. Fourteen helicopters are in the air, along with three fixed wing aircraft

The situation is changing regarding property damage, but the latest report is that 11 houses and two sheds have been lost. Four of the houses are in Worsleys Road, four in Hoon Hay Valley Road, one house and one shed on Burkes Bush Road, and two houses and one shed on Early Valley Road.

Evacuations

Civil Defence is receiving inquiries from residents who have been evacuated about when they will be able to return to their homes. It is too soon to be able to answer this with any certainty. People are encouraged to monitor Civil Defence and Council web and social media channels for the latest updates. As soon as any information is available about when people can return we will ensure that it is widely publicised.

Health update

 

Canterbury DHB is reminding people to phone their GP team first if they experience any respiratory issues or concerns.

Dr Alistair Humphrey, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says for the vast majority of people, the smoke will be unpleasant, but carries no risk to their health.

People who have difficulty breathing, have a prolonged cough or tightness in their chest should make their own GP team their first call 24/7 for #carearoundtheclock.

Dr Humphrey is also encouraging people remember to look out for their neighbours, especially the elderly, or those with disabilities and make sure they’re ok.

“Canterbury has been hit hard with its fair share of disasters in the last half decade, so many people will understandably be feeling overwhelmed and in shock. We all need to remember to look out for one another and take care of each other.”

Welfare update

A huge thank you to all the residents, community groups and businesses of Christchurch and elsewhere who have offered their help, donations of food, water and accommodation to the emergency response. The fires have had a big impact on the people of Christchurch who have responded with kindness and care. It means a lot to those affected.

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #12

Thursday 16 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire 10.30am

 

fire1.jpg

Fire area as of 7am

 

Port Hills fire - Multi agency update

 

Emergency services have been out since first light fighting the huge Port Hills fire concentrating their efforts on three fronts at Worsleys Road, Early Valley Road and Governors Bay.

The fire, which started in Marleys Hills on Monday night  has now spread over 1800 hectares on the Port Hills.  Reports on the number of houses destroyed or damaged have varied overnight. Please understand that this is an unfolding situation, but the Fire Service has confirmed that definitely five houses have been lost – three in Worsleys Road and two in Hoon Hay Valley Road. Emergency services are preparing to continue their operations for at least over the weekend  and say the immediate emphasis is on directing the huge fire away from people and property.

The New Zealand Fire Service says that today’s firefighting effort included 15 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, the maximum number that can safely be in the air at any one time, and ground firefighting crews from the New Zealand Fire Service, Department of Conservation, territorial authorities and volunteers.

Helicopters have been brought in from throughout the South Island and out of town fire service staff  from both Nelson and Timaru and are boosting local resources. Twenty-one urban appliances are on the Summit Road, eight on Worsleys Road and 10 on Early Valley Road.

There are concerns about the short-term weather forecast with today’s north-east wind today expected to further drive the fronts. It is hoped a south-west change predicted for tomorrow will lower temparatures and humidity, slowing the fire’s progress.

There is a total fire ban in plan in North and Canterbury. Fire Region Manager Steve Turek says it is important that there is no type of fire lit so fire resources can remain concentrated on the major fire.

Christchurch Police have dedicated 50 staff working around the clock on the operation. Police assisted by New Zealand Defence Force staff have managed the evacuation of residents in at-risk areas. 400 homes have been evacuated by police with hundreds of other residents choosing to self-evacuate.

No evacuations are underway at this time, but police warn the situation is extremely volatile and should the fire change direction, people may have to leave at short notice.

Superintendent John Price of Christchurch Police says patrols are also working around the clock in both areas at risk and those evacuation. “We are providing reassurance to residents about evacuation, but also to others that we are keeping a watchful eye on their property,” he said.

Police are also checking on the safety of contractors working on the fire, logging everyone who goes into and out of the cordon.

The main message remains - 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 New Zealand Defence Force had 36 staff working alongside emergency services last night and another 25 have joined the operation this morning.

Welfare and health agencies are on standby reading to step in at a moment’s notice. Christchurch District Health Board reported no overnight admissions due to respiratory issues. St John had dealt with a number of minor issues.

Welfare Centre - Te Hapua Halswell Centre and Nga Hau e Wha National Marae

Around 11 evacuees are currently at the Te Hapua Halswell Centre. Catering is  being provided with donations from the local supermarket assisting.

While the Welfare Centre has been set up in the community room at Te Hapua Halswell Centre, the facility’s library and pool are operating as usual.

A welfare centre also remains open at Nga Hau e Wha National Marae on Pages Road. Welfare agencies will provide updates on how to access a range of services today.

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.

STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED AT 1700 FEB 15TH

GENERAL INFORMATION
• 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.

ROAD CLOSURES
Road closure information:

• Cashmere Rd is closed west of Kaiwara St to Kennedys Bush Rd.
• Worsleys Rd is closed from Cashmere Rd
• Hoon Hay Valley Rd is closed.
• 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..

Council updates here: https://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1406
http://www.tfc.govt.nz/…/latest…/port-hills-fire-update-6pm/
Full health warning here: 
https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1405
UPdates from Civil Defence here: https://web.facebook.com/ChristchurchCDEM

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #11

Thursday 16 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire 8.15am

Emergency response agencies are meeting this morning for a joint briefing on the status of the Port Hills fire. 

The main message remains - 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.

Schools update

The Ministry of Education has confirmed that both Governors Bay School and Cashmere Primary School are closed. The Ministry will provide further updates as they become available.

Christchurch Adventure Park Update

Firefighters were able to keep the fire away from the Christchurch Adventure Park village overnight and the chair is still running to reduce any hot spots. Fire crews remain stationed near the village. While the fire remains alight there is still a risk to the village and the situation is being monitored.

Metro bus update

Due to the fire and evacuations all Metro bus Blue Line trips will end at Princess Margaret Hospital until further notice. No trips will run to the Cashmere Hill.

Due to the fire on the Port Hills all trips travelling to Westmorland will end their trips on Cashmere Road near Penruddock​ Rise. Bus trips will depart travelling towards Eastgate from stop 33348 on Cashmere Road instead. This is until further notice.

Please check the metro web site on www.metroinfo.co.nz

16729139_1256912967730909_1277675457840607000_n.jpg

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Update on Port Hills Fire 4.55am

FURTHER EVACUATIONS

Police are now evacuating residents downhill of the Sign of the Takahe on Dyers Pass Road as far as and including Kiteroa Place and Pentre Terrace.

Residents will be contact directly by police who are in the area now knocking on doors. If you feel unsafe, you are advised to self-evacuate.

Police have continued to express concerns about traffic and people in the area and directed all non-residents to stay away, keeping it clear for emergency services.

16707637_754448101390876_8621097305364474582_o.jpg

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #9

Thursday 16 February 2017

Update on Port Hills Fire 3:25am

There are still some very active fire fronts up on the Port Hills, but not as many as there were prior to midnight. A large number of fire crews have been on the ground working hard to protect properties overnight, and the drop in fire activity can also be attributed to a decrease in temperature and a rise in humidity.

We are expecting helicopters up at first light, and we will have a clearer picture of the situation once day breaks.

Approximately 400 households have been evacuated in the areas around Victoria Park/Dyers Pass Road, Worsleys Road, Westmorland and Kennedys Bush.

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.

If listeners or readers are inquiring about where to go for information about the Port Hills Fire, please direct them to www.ccc.govt.nz/newsline and the Christchurch City Council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/ChristchurchCityCouncil and Christchurch City Council’s Twitter feed @christchurchcc

 

 

 

Thursday 16 February 2017 2am UPDATE #8

Update on Port Hills Fire

Six people from Pentworth Place in West Moorland have been evacuated and are sleeping over at Te Hapua, which has been opened for evacuated residents, along with Nga Hau e Wha Marae.

While we have had a number of inquiries, most people that have been evacuated have found their own accommodation.

In addition to rural fire staff, a group of 86 made up of 50 New Zealand Police and 36 New Zealand Defence Force personnel working overnight on the Port Hills Fire response. They are doing evacuations, joint patrols and reassuring people in the areas impacted by the fires.

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.

If listeners or readers are inquiring about where to go for information about the Port Hills Fire, please direct them to www.ccc.govt.nz/newsline and the Christchurch City Council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/ChristchurchCityCouncil and Christchurch City Council’s Twitter feed @christchurchcc

 

 

 

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.

 

fire.jpg



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

TODAYS WORK:
• 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.

COUNCIL UPDATE:
• 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.

GENERAL INFORMATION
• 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.

ROAD CLOSURES

• 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: 
https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1405
UPdates from Civil Defence here: https://web.facebook.com/ChristchurchCDEM

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #6

Wednesday 15 February 2017, 

We have just received a correction from the Police on earlier information about the number of homes that have been destroyed on Worsley Spur.

Around two to three houses are known to have been destroyed in this area, not 40 as previously reported.

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.

The fire crossed Dyers Pass road this evening and into Victoria Park.

A welfare centre has been set up at Te Hapua Halswell Centre and the Nga Hau e Wha Marae is now open to residents evacuated.
 

INFORMATION SHARED

Latest Port Hills Fire update from the council as of 11:30pm:

• Around 40 houses have been destroyed on Worsley Spur as 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.

LATEST UPDATE FROM CIVIL DEFENCE

• Around 40 houses have been destroyed on Worsley Spur as additional staff continue to work through the night evacuating households at risk from the Port Hills fire.
• 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.

GENERAL INFORMATION

• 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.

STATES OF EMERGENCY DECLARED AT 1700 FEB 15TH

• Residents are being directed to Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre on Halswell Road.
• 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.

ROAD CLOSURES

• 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: 
https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1406
UPdates from Civil Defence here: https://web.facebook.com/ChristchurchCDEM

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #5

Wednesday 15 February 2017,

Update on fires.

 

Around 40 houses have been destroyed on Worsley Spur as additional staff continue to work through the night evacuating households at risk from the Port Hills fire.

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.

The fire crossed Dyers Pass road this evening.

A welfare centre has been set up at Te Hapua Halswell Centre and the Nga Hau e Wha Marae is now open to residents evacuated.

 

INFORMATION SHARED

Latest Port Hills Fire update from the council as of 11:30pm:

• Around 40 houses have been destroyed on Worsley Spur as 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.

LATEST UPDATE FROM CIVIL DEFENCE

• Around 40 houses have been destroyed on Worsley Spur as additional staff continue to work through the night evacuating households at risk from the Port Hills fire.
• 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.

GENERAL INFORMATION

• 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.

STATES OF EMERGENCY DECLARED AT 1700 FEB 15TH

• Residents are being directed to Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre on Halswell Road.
• 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.

ROAD CLOSURES

• 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: 
https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1405
UPdates from Civil Defence here: https://web.facebook.com/ChristchurchCDEM

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #4

Wednesday 15 February 2017, 9.40pm

 
OVERNIGHT PLANS FOR FIRE MANAGEMENT
 
**** Residents in the area from the Sign of the Takahe to Victoria Park should evacuate their homes immediately.
Authorities are advising that the fire has crossed Dyers Pass Road into Victoria Park.*****
Police and the Defence Force are evacuating properties in the area. They are also evacuating the south side of Cashmere Road to Kennedys Bush Road and to Hoon Hay Valley Road.
 
Helicopters and fixed planes have been stood down for the night from fighting the Port Hills fires, but fire crews remain on the ground monitoring the situation.
 
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.
A welfare centre has been set up at Te Hapua Halswell Centre to assist evacuated residents. Only a handful of residents have visited Te Hapua Halswell Centre seeking information. Nga Hau e Wha Marae has been made available.
 
Canterbury Regional Controller Neville Reilly has been deployed to the Christchurch Civil Defence Emergency Operations Centre to head the overall response to the fires.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
• 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.
Authorities are extremely grateful for the many offers of assistance and donated goods for those affected by the fire, currently no donated good are needed and peoples’ accommodation needs are being managed. Agencies are currently planning to establish a relief fund for those affected the fires.
 

ROAD CLOSURES
• Cashmere Rd is closed west of Kaiwara St to Kennedys Bush Rd.
• Worsleys Rd is closed from Cashmere Rd
• Hoon Hay Valley Rd is closed.
• 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.

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: 
https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/140

 

 

 

Christchurch Civil Defence Update #3 WednesdayWednesday 15 February 2017, 7.00pm

WELFARE CENTRES OPEN FOR RESIDENTS

Residents who have been evacuated due to the Port Hills fires are able to seek help at two city welfare centres at Te Hapua Halswell Centre and Nga Hau e Wha Marae.

As of 6.30pm, just a handful of residents had arrived at the centres.

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.

Welfare Centres are now open at Te Hapua Halswell Centre on Halswell Road and Nga Hau e Wha Marae on Pages Road, for residents who have been evacuated as a result of the Port Hills fires.

Christchurch Civil Defence Controller John Mackie says States of Emergency have been declared in Christchurch and Selwyn. The NZ Defence Force has also been deployed to support the response.

Canterbury Regional Controller Neville Reilly has been deployed to the Christchurch Civil Defence Emergency Operations Centre to head the overall response to the fires.

GENERAL INFORMATION

·         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.

If people are worried about their safety they should to leave their homes. If widespread evacuation is needed, emergency services will inform residents directly.

ROAD CLOSURES
• Cashmere Rd is closed west of Kaiwara St to Kennedys Bush Rd.
• Worsleys Rd is closed from Cashmere Rd
• Hoon Hay Valley Rd is closed.
• 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.

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: 
https://ccc.govt.nz/the-council/newsline/show/1405

 

 

 

 

 

STATES OF EMERGENCY DECLARED IN CHRISTCHURCH AND SELWYN - February 15 2017 @6pm

 

The Mayors of Christchurch City and Selwyn District have made a joint decision to declare States of Emergency in their respective areas in relation to the Port Hills fires.

The declaration follows the evacuation this afternoon of 200-300 residents as the fire shifted closer to residential properties. It is no longer just a significant rural fire on the boundary of the city. It is now a city issue with suburbs being evacuated.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says a city response is also required to ensure the safety and welfare of residents.

“Christchurch needs a multi-agency response given the seriousness of the situation. We need to be able to draw on all the resources possible to give our residents confidence in the ongoing response.”

Selwyn District Mayor Sam Broughton says, “we acknowledge there has been a huge effort responding to the fire to date, however this declaration recognises the seriousness of the situation, and this will allow us to provide all the assistance necessary to respond to the unfolding situation.

“The district and the city must work together to manage the situation and address the different challenges the fire is creating in each area.”


 

 

 

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/
UPdates from Civil Defence here: https://web.facebook.com/ChristchurchCDEM

Tuesday 21 February

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