The fires on the Port Hills have been burning for three days and yesterday a state of emergency was declared in Christchurch and Selwyn. The fires have claimed one life, that of Steve Haskin, a helicopter pilot involved in the firefighting. A thousand people have been evacuated, and houses have burned. Parts of the city experienced a large power cut yesterday, and the TV/Radio antenna on the hills is at risk.
The fires have intensified over night, joining to form one large 1850ha burn. The police are evacuating those in danger, with authorities also telling people to leave their homes if they feel unsafe. Multiple evacuation centres have been set up.
Reminder: if you are at all worried or feel uncomfortable in your home – the advice is to leave early – don't wait.
— ChristchurchCDEM (@CDEMCHCH) February 15, 2017
There have been reports of rubberneckers causing problems, so it’s a timely reminder that if you must go and look then pay attention to keeping roads clear for emergency vehicles, including those not related to the fires. Bear in mind that fires can change direction and move fast so numbers of people may need to use those roads at short notice.
RNZ have switched broadcast frequency,
— RNZ (@radionz) February 15, 2017
A local Christchurch man has set up a Facebook page to for people to offer accommodation for evacuees and their pets.
Micky has a post up about the bigger picture politics of the situation. Please be thoughtful in your comments.
— Watchmanz (@Watchmanz) February 15, 2017