A normal night at home quickly changed for Custer Voss when his brother called to tell him, “Those are on fire.”
His 8.5 hectare complex was one of 40 properties evacuated overnight after a major fire in Port Hills, Christchurch, which burned about 25 to 30 hectares, destroyed a small shed, and led to a public health warning of smoke. The fire is contained.
Police did not believe it was linked to the suspected fires on the hills earlier in the week.
The fire started shortly after 11pm on Friday, but the cause remains unclear. Fire and Emergency NZ confirmed that it is pursuing positive leads and areas of interest and identified a point of origin.
* The scrub fire north of Canterbury was ignited by northwest winds that were considered occasional
* A flame seen during a suspicious fire in Port Hills, Christchurch
* Several suspected fires have set fire in Port Hills, Christchurch
Police said all of the evacuated residents were able at 11.43 am on Saturday to return to their homes, but Port Hills Road remained closed. Investigation into the cause of the accident is still underway.
The Canterbury County Health Board issued a public health warning about smoke just before 10 a.m. on Saturday, with Medical Officer Dr. Sherrill Brunton saying that people in areas with smoke, especially those with heart or lung disease, pregnant women and young children And the elderly, close windows and doors and reduce outdoor exercise.
Police confirmed that they were evacuated around 1 am on Saturday, including Voss’s property.
I shot to take a look [at the fire]”Within five minutes it was completely out of control and moved very quickly,” Voss said.
It owns 8.5 hectares of lifestyle off Port Hills Road.
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“The policemen said, ‘You have two minutes to get what you can, so we took the cars and left,” Voss said.
He had lost a barn in the fire, but he said it was fortunate that there were no machines there.
“I don’t know exactly how close the fire was [my] “It’s home,” Voss said, “but it had to be very close.”
Fire investigators have a ‘good positive’
It remains unclear what caused the fire. Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) Christchurch Metro District Chief Dave Stackhouse said, “We have some good positive signs” and there were “areas of interest” after 9am on Saturday.
He said that fire investigators had identified the source of the fire, but did not disclose the exact location, but said it was near a tank nearby.
Two helicopters carrying seasonal buckets and 45 firefighters were dealing with the fire, which burned between 25 and 30 hectares. About 60 firefighters worked all night and a little flame appeared by 7 am.
Stackhouse said the explosions heard during the fire were most likely the LPG cylinders in the shed that burned.
He said the firefighting conditions were perfect from 4 am to 5 am on Saturday morning and the morning bridge was positive.
He said the crews did a great job of preventing the fire from potentially spreading to homes. He said the weather was in their favor as only light winds were expected.
The plan was to create a safe, contained fire zone and return people to their homes.
Stackhouse was hoping to bring the residents of Port Hills Rd home this afternoon.
Other residents of the Avoca Valley Road were allowed to return early on Saturday.
Granville Denton, who lives on a small street off Avoca Valley Road, said he was woken up around 1 a.m. by knocking on the door from the emergency services, who told him to pack up and get out.
“I saw a lot of smoke and it was just pink [and] The sky is reddish, the flames were at least six to seven meters in the air, ”Denton said.
He said he left with his dogs and family and went to stay at a bar the family owned.
A resident of Avoca Valley Road said that they were evacuated at around 2 a.m. on Saturday, but were on their way home after 7 a.m.
The resident said that the evacuation process was well organized, and commented, “This is what it is.”
Suspicious fires days ago
Saturday fire comes only days Four suspicious fires in Port Hills.
A number of crews have been dispatched to extinguish four “small plant fires” spread across the hills of the port between midnight and around 1 am on Wednesday.
The area for fires ranged from 40 to 1,200 square meters – the rugby stadium is usually around 8,400 square meters.
Police said A flame is seen during the fires They have appealed for information.
They said that at this point they did not believe there was a link between the fires on Wednesday and those that began Friday night.
It was once Port Hills The scene of a large fire in February 2017. The fire burned 1,600 hectares of land, destroyed nine homes and damaged another five.
It took 66 days before the fires were completely extinguished.
Harshish Singh filmed a helicopter submerging water from a bucket of monsoons in a fire in Port Hills, Christchurch on Saturday.