14 Feb 2017

Fire in Port Hills destroys a home, still not under control

From Morning Report, 7:10 am on 14 February 2017

A home has been destroyed and several others are threatened by a fire that flared up on the Port Hills, near Christchurch, overnight.

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Photo: RNZ / Joelle Dally

The blaze, centered on Early Valley Road near Tai Tapu, destroyed one house and burned through about 20 hectares.

Fire service area commander David Berry said the Early Valley Road fire flared overnight and crews were working to ensure it did not reach other homes.

Six fire trucks were protecting property overnight, before helicopters started arriving from 6am.

Fire on the Port Hills

Fire on the Port Hills Photo: RNZ / Susie Studholme

Witnesses told RNZ flames could be seen over a large area.

Water tankers were also being used to fight the fire and a command unit was sent to co-ordinate the operation. Some livestock have been killed in the Early Valley Road area.

RNZ reporter Maja Burry, at the fire command centre near Early Valley Road, said flames were visible on the ridge nearby and a number of helicopters with monsoon buckets were circling overhead.