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Port Hills fire update #20 – Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Port Hills fire Incident Commander Steve Kennedy says the dampening down and the creation and widening of fire breaks have proven themselves against the stronger winds today.

“We’ve had 100 firefighters and 20 support personnel working alongside five helicopters and heavy machinery make good progress to turn over and extinguish the hot spots and flare ups,” he says.

“We expect a southerly wind change this evening which will assist crews with cooling the land and this will also help the infrared cameras to identify hot spots.”

Crews, including a drone crew, will be on the incident ground overnight and operations will continue tomorrow.

Steve Kennedy says the fire risk remains extremely high and reminds people to stay very aware about the work they do during the day. Hot-work or spark-generating work, which includes mowing lawns, should be done earlier in the day when it is cooler.

“Our firefighters have put in a huge effort today. It has been hard work for them in hot, dry, windy and dusty conditions, and they’ve done a terrific job,” he says.

“Many of the crews are volunteers and I want to thank their employers and families and whānau for enabling them to come out and do the great work they’re doing.”

Unless anything major happens, this will be the last Port Hills fire update for the evening.


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