21 Nov 2023

Port Hills scrub fire a reminder low risk is not no risk - FENZ

8:31 am on 21 November 2023
A helicopter fighting a fire in the Port Hills on 20 November 2023.

The scrub fire on Monday. Photo: Deon Swiggs

Crews remain at the site of a scrub fire in Christchurch's Port Hills.

Fire and Emergency wildfire manager Tim Mitchell told Morning Report there was one flare-up overnight.

As a precaution, a couple of helicopters were on standby.

A Waka Kotahi spokesperson said the southbound lane of SH76 around Port Hills Rd and Chapmans Rd opened at 9pm on Monday, the northbound lane remains closed.

"Christchurch always can be a bit of a fickle place this time of year in terms of winds changing direction during the day but at the moment [with] clear skies, calm conditions, [it is] good to be able to get on top of that early this morning," Mitchell said.

Reasonably regular rain meant there was a fair bit of green vegetation, he said.

"So, it's actually not looking too bad for this time of year."

This was a timely reminder that fires could happen at any time, he said.

"At the moment, generally low fire risk conditions across the country but low risk doesn't mean no risk so really important people heed what's happened on the Port Hills yesterday."

Mitchell said people needed to prepare their own property for fires and assess the risk.

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