Fuseworks Media

Port Hills fire final update

Fire and Emergency has completed operations on the Port Hills after last month’s fire but remains ready to react swiftly to any further incidents in the area.

The Port Hills continues to be in a prohibited fire season, with a total ban on outdoor fires. We have allocated 4WD fire appliances to enable crews to reach any remote part of the fireground quickly if there is any sign of a flare-up.

Fire and Emergency Commander Dave Stackhouse says the fireground was officially handed back to the landowners last week after the final hotspot was extinguished. That marked the end of the largest wildfire in Canterbury since the previous Port Hills fire in 2017.

Lasting three weeks, the response involved firefighters from 44 brigades, a large number of support and incident management personnel, and Fire and Emergency’s specialist drone team.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who was involved in this incident,” Dave Stackhouse says.

“It was a very stressful time for the residents living on the Port Hills and caused disruption to all the recreational users who had to stay away from their favourite trails for an extended period. We appreciate the way the community accommodated our operations while we put the fire out.”

The Christchurch City and Selwyn District Councils will lead the recovery from the fires, and Fire and Emergency will continue to support the recovery and help the community to become more resilient to the enduring risk of wildfire.

Fire and Emergency will be carrying out a full operational review into the Port Hills fire and also the Waikari Valley fire, which occurred concurrently in the Hurunui District.

The costs of the response have not yet been tallied as not all of the bills have been received from suppliers. The investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing.


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