- Date published:
7:30 am, February 16th, 2017 - 9 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster - Tags: christchurch, Port Hills fire
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.
Christchurch City Council news page with updates.
Selwyn District Council update page.
Christchurch Civil Defence Facebook and Twitter.
Evacuated areas and road closures.
RNZ have switched broadcast frequency,
Keep listening to 675am, christchurch, or watching online. https://t.co/y00VR0tUIh pic.twitter.com/edaGQg6IgM
— RNZ (@radionz) February 15, 2017
RadioNZ are doing live updates and have a What you need to know page.
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.
Another photo from the #porthillsfire in #Christchurch (Credit: Jaxson Lane) pic.twitter.com/G7utpDDCZh
— Watchmanz (@Watchmanz) February 15, 2017
My thoughts are with the people in Christchurch.
Hope people are getting the support they need, and that the fire doesn’t get any worse.
Outstanding RNZ coverage.
The photos above at the end of the post, from Tom’s Facebook page and from Jaxson Lane illustrate the problem better than all the words.
All up to the whims of the wind today. Here’s hoping.
I lived in Christchurch for a number of years; l have family there.
There were fires when we lived there: a member of this household was very involved with fighting one large outbreak in the Selwyn area. But nothing of this magnitude: jeez, it’s frightening!
My congratulations to RNZ for its coverage: well up to its usual high standard for events of this sort.
I see Blinglish has cancelled today’s engagements and is flying down with big Gerry to see for themselves the huge fire that is raging down there. The fire responders have all morning been pleading with rubber neckers to stay out of the area and leave it to the experts to do their jobs without hinderance. I would put these two tiresome people in the same category, Gerry will be blaming everybody but himself and will certainly get in the way in more ways than one. What can Blinglish do – he can put more money into the coffers of the Fire Service for starters and do that from Wellington with the stroke of a pen. These two are the last people Christchurch need right now – my sympathies to them all.
Who pays for helicopters used in fire fighting? do farmers forest owners have insurance to cover losses -ie trees/grass etc?
It’s not cost effective to insure trees against fire, is my understanding
Sorrow and condolences for the helicopter pilot David Askin who died early on.