Port Hills fire: What you need to know

5:59 pm on 19 February 2017

Residents are starting return home as the Port Hills fire that destroyed 11 houses is contained. Here's what you need to know.

Latest information:

  • The fire is under control, but the risk of flare-ups will continue for about a week
  • Helicopters were briefly grounded on Sunday because of fog and strong winds. Ground and air efforts continue.
  • Residents in Hoon Hay Valley Rd, Kennedys Bush Rd and part of Worsleys Rd were briefly allowed to their properties on Sunday to retrieve essential items and pets.
  • Twenty-two addresses and eight dwellings beyond 341 Worsleys Rd remained inaccessible.
  • Emergency services are felling trees, fixing power lines, creating fire breaks and dropping fire retardant.
  • Most Port Hills walking and mountain bike tracks are closed, including Victoria Park and Rapaki, Mt Vernon and Huntsbury tracks.
  • Restrictions are likely to be in place for several weeks.
  • A team of 15 helicopters and three fixed wing aircraft have been working on the fire.
  • More than 390 firefighters have tackled the fire this week.
  • A fire ban remains in place in Selwyn, and in the region from South Canterbury to Hurunui, including Christchurch.
  • A state of emergency remains in place.

Evacuated areas:

  • Cordon moved: Dyers Pass Road the cordon is now above the last house on Dyers Pass Road, so above 236 Dyers Pass Road. This means all residents in streets below these cordon points (including Longhurst Terrace and Pentre Terrace) can access their homes.
  • Cordon added: Victoria Park Road above the last house on this road, which is the entrance to Victoria Park.
  • Cordon moved: The Kennedys Bush Road cordon has been moved back so residents in houses up to, and including, houses at 299 and 304 Kennedy's Bush Road, can access their properties.
  • Cordon remains: Beyond 327 Worsleys Road
  • Cordon remains: Dyers Pass Road at Governor's Bay Road
  • Cordon remains: Summit Road and Gebbies Pass Road
  • Cordon remains: Dyers Pass and Hackthorne Rd immediately adjacent to the Sign of the Takahe. There is access up to the Sign of the Takahe including roads such as Takahe Drive.
  • Cordon remains:Hoon Hay Valley Road and Cashmere Road, meaning Hoon Hay Valley Road remains closed to the public.
  • Cordon removed:Cashmere Road where it intersects with Shalamar Drive, Worsleys Road, Opihi Street, Hendersons Road and Sutherlands Road.
  • Cordon removed: Dyers Pass Rd and Hackthorne Rd in the immediate vicinity of Cup Café.
  • There is no access to Longhurst Terrace and roads leading from it, Dyers Pass Road above the Sign of the Takahe and Pentre Terrace.
  • This Facebook group has been created for people to offer accommodation to those who have been evacuated.
Map of the fire cordons on 18.2.17

Photo: Christchurch City Council

Road closures: the latest updates are available here

Buses: Updates on Metro bus services can be found here.

Welfare centres: Have been closed for accommodation. But Te Hapua Halswell Centre will be open from 10am-4pm over the weekend providing recovery assistance and information.

Donations: A mayoral fund has been set up by the Selwyn District Council to help those affected by the fires.


  • Marleys Hill reserve is almost completely burnt out, including hundreds of native trees planted by volunteers.
  • The main part of Kennedys Bush reserve (better known as the Sign of the Bellbird) had fire through parts of it, but it is unknown how severe the damage is. The historic shelter is untouched.
  • Cass Peak Reserve, which has the radar dome on its peak, is extensively burnt on both sides.
  • Victoria Park, from the top entrance, is extensively burnt including the upper Harry Ell walkway and the flanks of Sugarloaf Reserve.
  • Much of Ohinetahi reserve above Governors Bay, which is owned and managed by the Summit Road Society, is extensively burnt.

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