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Port Hills fire update #22

The colder weather combined with a small amount of rain overnight on Monday helped cool the Port Hills fireground, but this has made for challenging, slippery conditions on Tuesday.

Incident Commander Steve Kennedy says safety of the crews has been the priority.

“The crews have been working on hotspots, including skid sites, with heavy machinery in difficult conditions today, but we’ve been working carefully to ensure our people stay safe.

“We have made good progress and now have fewer hotspots to eliminate on Wednesday.

“This means we will review our requirements for resources and reduce or number of crews and equipment on the ground tomorrow, in part to give some of our hard-working volunteers a rest, but people can be assured we will be able to respond quickly should the situation on the ground change.”

Steve Kennedy says he appreciates the patience and understanding of the public as the operations continue.

“I also want to acknowledge the co-operation between all the response agencies and organisations involved in this response.”

The rain on Tuesday morning did reduce the fire danger somewhat, but Steve Kennedy says this won’t last.

“The winds this afternoon will dry any moisture out very quicky and the fire danger conditions will be elevated once again.

“On the fireground we will be able to manage this with the crews we have, but it’s important for 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.”

The Early Valley cordon has been removed this afternoon as we no longer need access to that area to be restricted for operational reasons.

The other cordons remain in place. Details and a map of the cordon locations are on the Christchurch City Council newsline: https://newsline.ccc.govt.nz/…/port-hills-fire-update.

This will be the last update today unless significant developments occur tonight. The next update will be on Wednesday.


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