Civil Defence is warning people to stay away from parts of Christchurch's Port Hills as two scrub fires threaten to burn through the night.
One is centered on Early Valley Road near Tai Tapu and the other is close to the Dyers Pass Road by the Sign of the Kiwi.
About 20 hectares of scrub was burning and the fires were moving fast, the Fire Service said.
The Fire Service said its priority was protecting people's homes. Dozens of people have been evacuated and some have begun arriving at a welfare centre at Tai Tapu School.
Eight engines, three water tankers and about 40 staff were battling the fire.
At least two helicopters were circling the blaze.
The fire was moving uphill because of strong winds, the Fire Service said.
Police have set up a cordon on Old Tai Tapu Road.
A local resident said some farmers had already moved their stock and much of the area was engulfed in smoke.
One resident who lives on Homes road, James, said his family had just got home from a trip in the North Island when the blaze broke out on the hillside behind them.
"I went up to help the neighbour with the cattle and then they said we had to get out."
James said his whole street had been evacuated.