Christchurch Port Hills fires: What you need to know on Thursday video

NZN VIDEO

Cordons will remain in place are the Port Hills.

Fires are continuing to rage in Christchurch. Here's what you need to know. 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Christchurch Civil Defence says 11 homes have been destroyed.  Four of the houses were on Worsleys Rd, four on Hoon Hay Valley Rd, one house and one shed were on Burkes Bush Rd, and two houses and one shed were lost on Early Valley Rd.

How the Port Hills fires affect you

Share your stories, photos and videos.

Firefighters battling the Port Hills blaze in Christchurch will get little help from rain into the end of the week, with MetService predicting only the odd spot for the city.

If you are at all worried or uncomfortable remaining in your home, please evacuate. You can go to any of the city welfare centres for assistance. So far 400 properties have been officially evacuated. That number has changed from the earlier figure of 450. 

The fires have merged into one and now cover more than 2075 hectares, or 20.75 square kilometres.

Miranda Newbury can't access her house
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX

Miranda Newbury can't access her house

READ MORE:
Live: Christchurch fires edge closer
Smoke triggers health warning
Brownlee slams belated response
Governors Bay Bush destroyed
'Volatile' situation sparks evacuation
In Pictures: Choppers battle blaze
Smoke pollution 'as bad as Asia'
Fires reach Victoria Park
Wildfires visible from space

Fourteen helicopters and three fixed wing aircraft are involved in Thursday's aerial battle and come from around the South Island. 

The Fire Service, Department of Conservation, territorial authorities and volunteers are fighting the blaze from the ground. Firefighters from Nelson and Timaru are also involved. 

AARON WOOD/STUFF.CO.NZ

How the fire has spread and the size of the area engulfed by it.

A total fire ban is now in place from South Canterbury through to the north end of the Hurunui District, including Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. Police warn the situation is extremely volatile. 

Ad Feedback

Emergency services are preparing to keep fighting the blaze over the weekend. The emphasis will be on directing the flames away from people and property.

The first fire - believed to have been caused by an electrical problem - began on Monday, along Early Valley Rd in Lansdowne. By 7pm, crews were battling a second blaze on Marley's Hill, south of the city. Authorities don't know how that blaze began, but believe it started in a car park off Summit Rd.

  • AREA OF FIRE
  • WHERE THE FIRES BEGAN
  • EVACUATION AREAS
  • CLOSED ROADS AND AREAS
  • AT-RISK AREA

Click on the features for more information.

About 126 homes remain without power in Christchurch's Port Hills, and Orion is urging residents and businesses to conserve power. More than 80,000 homes lost power for about 30 minutes on Wednesday, but further outages were possible.

People are advised to stay away from the hills to allow emergency services access and ensure swift evacuation. Do not rubberneck.

If widespread evacuation is needed, emergency services will inform residents directly. No evacuations were under way as mid morning on Thursday, however people maybe told to leave their homes if the situation changes.

Helicopters drop water near the adventure park at Port Hill.
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Helicopters drop water near the adventure park at Port Hill.

Prime Minister Bill English has cancelled his plans for the day and will fly to Christchurch.

SCHOOL CLOSURES

Cashmere Primary School and Kidsfirst Cashmere Kindergarten are closed.

The Ministry of Education has been contacted for a full list of closures, but has yet to provide details. However, it did confirm Governor's Bay School was open, contrary to previous reports.

Flames leap out of a large pine plantation behind Westmorland along Worsleys Spur in Christchurch's Port Hills.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/FAIRFAX NZ

Flames leap out of a large pine plantation behind Westmorland along Worsleys Spur in Christchurch's Port Hills.

Hoon Hay is open, Cashmere High is open and West Spreydon is open.

EVACUATED AREAS

All current police cordons in the Port Hills area for the fire emergency will remain in place for the night of the 16 February and it is likely they will stay in place until the Saturday 18 when it will be reaccessed.

NZN VIDEO

Civil Defence warns there is still a long way to go before the Port Hills fire in Christchurch is under control.

Police earlier evacuated residents downhill of the Sign of the Takahe on Dyers Pass Rd as far as, and including, Kiteroa Pl and Pentre Terrace.

- Affected areas include:

- Dyers Pass Road into Victoria Park.

RNZ

Prime Minister Bill English says emergency services are going to throw everything at the fire today.

- Hoon Hay Valley Rd

- The south side of Cashmere Rd to Kennedys Bush Rd and to Hoon Hay Valley Rd.

- The Port Hills around Worsleys Rd and Cashmere Rd.

- Early Valley Rd.

- Westmorland.

- Kennedys Bush, and its intersecting streets are from Halswell Quarry up towards the end of Kennedys Bush Rd.

- Longhurst Tce.

See here for a map of evacuated areas.

EVACUATION CENTRES

Selwyn Events Centre in Lincoln

Te Hapua Halswell Centre, Halswell Rd (The library and pool at this centre remain open).

Nga Hau e Wha Marae, Pages Rd

There is also the Facebook page Evacuation Housing for evacuated residents to ask for help, and allow others to offer temporary accommodation to those evacuated.

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.

See here for a map of road closures

BUSES AFFECTED

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.

The Real Time Information system has been affected by the fires and a number of buses are unable to be tracked. This means some buses will not show in the "next bus" online tools and at bus stop electronic signs. 

POWER OUTAGES

About 126 homes remain without power in Christchurch's Port Hills on Thursday, and lines company Orion said it was unsure went when power would be restored.

Power is being rerouted, including through Orion's new underground northern loop cable.

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

FIRE BAN

A total fire ban is now in place from South Canterbury through to the north end of the Hurunui District, including Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. 

HEALTH WARNING

The Canterbury District Health Board has reissued its advice for those concerned about the thick smoke billowing over parts of Christchurch.

Canterbury medical officer of health Dr Alistair Humphrey said the smoke would be unpleasant for most people, but carried no risk to their health.

Smoke may irritate the eyes, nose, throat and airways, and more serious symptoms could include a runny or sore nose, dry or sore throat, sore nose, cough, tightness of the chest, or difficulty breathing. 

"Avoid exposure where possible by staying indoors and closing windows and doors," Humphrey said.

Most symptoms would disappear soon after the exposure to smoke ended, but medical treatment should be sought if symptoms worsened, especially for those with asthma, or lung or heart disease.

Call 111 in an emergency, but call your usual general practice team for all other health care needs.

ANIMALS AND PETS

- The South Island South Island Wildlife Hospital is ready to medically treat any injured wildlife. They can be contacted on 022 106 0170.

- SPCA Canterbury is working to help people find temporary accommodation for pets and other animals. They can be contacted on  03 349 7057

 

 

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Poi dancing good for elderly

Poi, a traditional Maori dance, involves weights on the ends of cords being spun in circular patterns.

The Maori dance can help seniors improve their balance and memory, according to a new study.

Wakeboarder towed by seaplane

Brad Smeele, Brant Hales and Jesse Cassrels set new standards to raise awareness.

Wakeboarder Brad Smeele injured his spine three years ago. His friends are going to extremes to help raise awareness.

Auckland teacher shortage will get worse

More than two thirds of Auckland's new primary and intermediate teachers are thinking about leaving the city, a new ...

More than two thirds of Auckland's new primary and intermediate teachers considering moving due to cost of living, survey reveals.

Digger flips, driver trapped

Emergency crews are working to free the driver after his digger flipped over in Flat Bush on Monday afternoon.

Emergency crews are working to free the driver after an incident in Auckland's Flat Bush.

Wellington

Capital's cycle lanes a Kiwi-first

A proposed new contra-flow bike lane on Wellington's Cuba St will allow people to ride both ways along part of the ...

Proposed new lanes will allow Wellington's cyclists to ride against the flow of traffic.

Ticketed in free park

Shane Leach has been parking his motorhome in the free car park since November, but has been ticketed twice by Wilson ...

The tiny car park is a "hidden gem" in the capital. That didn't stop Wilson Parking.

Celebrations timed rugby team out

Masterton Red Star have received a valuable reminder about converting tries in a timely fashion.

With seconds to go, they scored a try. But their celebratory high-fives came too soon - and went on too long.

Do we have hazard fatigue?

Civil Defence says it's important to follow a trusted source for official warnings.

Study finds widespread scepticism of official disaster warnings.

Canterbury

Huts still under water video

Questions have been raised about Lake Ellesmere not being opened ahead of floods that inundated Lower Selwyn Huts over ...

Why was Canterbury's Lake Ellesmere was not opened to the sea ahead of the weekend's flooding?

Anger at flooding

Southshore's estuary frontage at the weekend.

Southshore residents angry homes flooded in storm's tidal surge due to lack of protection.

Ballantynes gears up for new build

Ballantynes was one of the first central city retailers to reopen after the February 2011 earthquake.

Department store to reopen some departments in new premises while it rebuilds.

More snow on way

Snow at Tekapo

Heavy rain and snow are set to hit on Thursday when a new polar blast hits.

Waikato

Gunpoint carjacking arrest

People were seen exiting a central Hamilton home with their hands up during the arrest on Monday afternoon.

Man arrested over the gunpoint carjacking of a Chevrolet Caprice in Hamilton.

Dairy owners fearful

The owner of the Holland Superette in Fairfield, Hamilton, was struck in the head with a hammer after refusing to hand ...

Terrified shopkeeps play robbery roulette and with odds stacked against them.

Chiefs up against history

Liam Messam and the Chiefs are up against history as they try to stay alive in Super Rugby.

No team has travelled from South Africa to New Zealand, then won a playoff match since 1998.

Millions in profit, nil tax

Chris Joblin, chief executive of Tainui Group Holdings.

A longstanding tax break has the usual suspects fired up, but Waikato-Tainui is happy to announce record breaking profits.

Taranaki

Faull family success

06042017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ.   Saturday big read,  Faull Farms at Tikorangi is one of Taranakis biggest ...

Gavin Faull is one of two Taranaki entries on the latest NBR Rich List.

A virtual remedy

Digital health deputy Janine Maruera photographs Makaiah Nui's tummy as she is held by cousin Tesha Whakatutu,  during ...

A combination of local gumption and modern technology is bringing health care to a town with no doctor.

'Moonshine' madness 

Drunk on home brew whisky or "moonshine" a South Taranaki man assaulted his partner and drove dangerously. (File Photo)

 A South Taranaki farmer was so drunk on moonshine he had little memory of assaulting his partner.

Something beginning with C

240717 News Photo. SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF
Central School in New Plymouth has had the 'C' stolen from its front entrance. ...

Be on the lookout for a missing C. It belongs to Entral School, formerly known as Central School.

Manawatu

Last supper for church video

Bishop's Warden Steve Fowler outside the church building.

Earthquake prone Levin church has been part of the community since the 1890s.

Another gorge slip

A new slip has fallen on the already-closed Manawatu Gorge road.

The closed Manawatu Gorge road is blocked by a third slip that came down this weekend.

Win for developer

Palmerston North courthouse.

Property developer wins case after High Court incorrectly interprets the law.

Flood-damaged paths repaired

Fresh erosion on the Mangaone Stream has exposed more stormwater pipes.

Paths have been left sodden, silted and damaged by floods.

Nelson

Recyclable cups end up in landfill

Smart Environmental manager Yuri Schokking with recycled plastic at the Richmond Resource Recovery Centre.

Almost all our disposable coffee cups are going nowhere near the recycling plant.

Weekend crime spree

The door at the Milton Street Store in Nelson was replaced with a sheet of plywood after a ram-raid attack on the store ...

Another dairy raid caps a spate of crimes across Nelson on a busy weekend for police.

Cadets' voyage of discovery

The Nelson Sea Cadets with LTCOL Josh Wineera, New Zealand Defence Advisor to Fiji and LT Sam Wilson, Military Liaison ...

It was hardly smooth sailing, but Nelson's young sailors learned plenty about theimselves.

Pain relief battle

Yvonne Gill has been using opioid painkillers for 10 years to manage pain from a medical mishap.

 A Nelson woman is angry at doctors for stopping access to strong painkillers.

Marlborough

Guerrilla knitters yarn-bomb town

West End retailers Stephanie Thompson and Jacqui Harnett are behind Kaikoura's yarn-bombing project.

Many a good yarn has come out of quake-hit Kaikoura over the past few months, and that doesn't seem to be wrapping up anytime soon.

Teen denies knifepoint robbery

Dylan Joseph Dredge admitted seven charges at the Blenheim District Court. (File photo)

He wasn't trying to rob the woman, he was just attacking her with a knife, court hears.

First look at Kaikoura village video

The North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery Accommodation Village.

Mark von Huben​ normally wears a tour guide's hat when he visits Kaikoura - now he's behind the wheel of a dump truck carting rubble away from slips blocking SH1.

$231m boost for SH1

A slip on State Highway 1 after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

New cycleway announced for 60km section of quake-hit highway north of Kaikoura.

South Canterbury

'Lake' consumes farm

Farmer Geoff Wallace on his Hook Swamp Rd property, which is still inundated with water.

Rapidly rising water in a flood-prone area meant a South Canterbury farmer ended up with a trailer load of dead calves.

$500k clean-up bill gallery video

Ashbury Mowers & Heating business in Washdyke had to get rid of chainsaws and line trimmers that had water damage. ...

Cleaning up the Timaru District aftermath storm will come with $500k price tag.

'Tough as teak' ex-AB dies

Tom Lister played eight tests as an All Black against, Australia, France, Wales, South Africa and the 1971 British and ...

South Canterbury's most-capped test All Black Tom Lister dies, aged 73.

Chainsawing through

Ricky Hunter had no way out of his Bouverie St property other than on foot, after a tree fell down onto the driveway ...

In a bid for freedom after the weekend's storm, Ricky Hunter picked up a chainsaw.

Southland

"The culinary world has just lost a gentleman"

Scott Richardson, pictured here in 2015, in his role as a catering and hospitality teacher at Southland Boys' High School.

Well-known Invercargill chef Scott Richardson died this morning in Dunedin Hospital.

'Business as usual'

Aparima College principal Kaye Day. The latest Governmental report on the College said "urgent" improvement in ...

A troubled Southland secondary school is to continue as usual, despite its leadership coming under fire.

Hotel facing potential delays

Invercargill Licensing Trust general manager Greg Mulvey in front of the proposed site of the ILT's new multi-million ...

The Invercargill Licensing Trust has unearthed some speed bumps in its plans to build a new inner city hotel.

Defending champions on fire

Wensley's Fire cyclists from left to right, Nick Barclay, Marty Jillings, Ben Coley and Tai-Anne Blair set off in the ...

The fire service team has confirmed its the fastest emergency service in Invercargill.

Ad Feedback