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Fire fears as hot nor'westers return

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 11:17 23/01/2013

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Hot temperatures and northwesterly winds predicted for Christchurch today will increase the risk of fire.

MetService duty forecaster Nicole Ranger said a high of 29 degrees Celsius was expected in Christchurch, with light northwesterlies.

It was 17C at the airport by 8.45am.

A Fire Service spokesman said crews were "always alert" for the prospect of fires.

"Whether it's 11 degrees or 29 degrees, we make sure we're always ready," he said.

Two weeks ago, a devastating fire near Prebbleton destroyed four properties, including two homes. About 30 properties were affected in total as the blaze swept across 150 hectares.

A spate of scrub fires have kept firefighters busy since. A Duvauchelle home was destroyed by fire last week.

Ranger said the weather would change tonight, with showers forecast.

"There's a front coming up the South Island today. That will bring rain and cooler temperature for the city tomorrow."

The good news was that the front was expected to clear in time for the weekend, he said.

"Friday is looking beautiful and that should continue through the weekend," he said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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