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61 days ago

Residents told to evacuate as large fire engulfs Chch’s Port Hills

Nicole Mathewson Reporter from The Press

People in Christchurch’s Port Hills have been evacuated from their homes following a huge fire near the Christchurch Adventure Park on the anniversary of the devastating 2017 fires that killed a pilot and destroyed multiple homes.

Dozens of firefighters and multiple helicopters are battling … View more
People in Christchurch’s Port Hills have been evacuated from their homes following a huge fire near the Christchurch Adventure Park on the anniversary of the devastating 2017 fires that killed a pilot and destroyed multiple homes.

Dozens of firefighters and multiple helicopters are battling the major blaze, which has engulfed a large part of the hills in the south of the city.

The fire caused power to be temporarily lost to 40,000 homes in the east of the city, power company Orion said, and several traffic lights to be out.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) said at 4pm that 10 people had been evacuated with the help of police, and more evacuations were expected.

Anyone near the fire who felt unsafe may self-evacuate, but should stay with family and friends if possible, Fenz said.

Several of structures were under threat, with firefighters “completing structure protection”.

Health authorities have also issued a public health warning about the smoke.

A huge plume of white is billowing across the southern part of the city from the blaze, which broke out at about 2.15pm at the top of Worsleys Road in the Port Hills.

As of 3.50pm, 10 helicopters and 15 trucks and tankers were fighting the fire.

The Christchurch Adventure Park has been evacuated, which the company behind it said was standard procedure when a fire is nearby.

Adventure Park spokesperson Juliet Calder said the fire started outside the park.

As soon as the park was alerted to the fire at 2.15pm, it began following instructions from Fenz, including evacuating the park. “It’s not in our park itself,” she said.

An emergency notification from Fenz has been sent to residents along the Port Hills as the large fire rages near Westmorland.

Just before 4pm, residents in the neighbouring suburb of Cashmere Hills, 1.5km away, were sent an emergency alert stating “a wildfire is burning ... evacuate the area immediately”.

The warning urged residents of Worsleys Rd and Worselys Spur to evacuate now because of the vegetation fire.

An evacuation centre has been set up at Halswell Library and Community Centre.

The billowing dark smoke could be seen high in the sky above the hills, the orange glow of flames visible from the central city.

“A fire has been reported in the area of Worsley Rd on the Port Hills and we have appliances responding,” the Fenz spokesperson said.

“Please stay away from this area to allow our crews to work on containing this fire.

It is as yet unclear how the fire started. The fire risk in the area is considered “very high”, according to Niwa and Fenz.

Helicopters could be seen scooping up water using monsoon buckets and flying above the smoke.

Local Cashmere resident Joachim Murdie said he saw 10 fire trucks drive past his house towards the fire “coming from each direction”.

He joined a large group of cars lined up on Worlseys Rd of residents and curious people watching the large smoke fill the sky.

Murdie cycles regularly at the Adventure Park and said the tracks are “incredibly dry” at the moment.

“It’s just straw up there really … anything like a cigarette put could set it on fire.”

One Worsleys Rd resident, who didn’t want to be named, said the fire appeared to be burning further up the hill from her property, past the dead end at the end of the street.

“We’re packing up just in case we have to be evacuated.”

There were three or four helicopters circling the area, she said, and numerous audible sirens. For now, smoke was blowing away from her property.

The resident’s house was spared in the Port Hills fires of 2017, she said, although some neighbours weren’t so lucky.

“It’s just life,” she said. “You just do it.”

Brianna Moody watched the fire burn for close to an hour. She said “it was growing at a massive rate” and getting scarily close to residents’ houses.

Port Hills resident Tracey Menzies sat patiently at a police cordon, worrying about her house on the hill from which her family had evacuated.

Her son was home when the fire broke out, so he grabbed the dog and fled.

The blaze is a reminder of the Port Hills fire their family experienced seven years ago, but Menzies said she had faith in fire crews.

“The fire brigade are onto it, it’s got so much bigger so much quicker than the last one, but they know what they’re doing,” she said.

“When we arrived it was a quarter of the size of what it is now, it’s moving so quickly and the black and white clouds are just crazy,” she said.

Te Whatu Ora National Public Health Service has issued a public health warning.

“Those who are sensitive to smoke - such as those with heart or lung conditions, pregnant people, young children and the elderly - may experience symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath or eye, nose and throat irritation,” it said.

People affected by the smoke should close windows and doors and reduce outdoor exercise. Those concerned about their health can call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

It was 24C in Christchurch when the blaze broke out, with wind gusts of up to 33kph. Temperatures were forecast to rise to 29C later on Wednesday.

Canterbury District, which includes areas north of the Rakaia River, is under total fire ban until further notice.

No open-air fires are allowed and all fire permits are suspended since a prohibited fire season came into place.

Dry weather is expected to continue for the next two months.

It is seven years since a major fire burned through 1600 hectares of land in 2017, claiming nine homes and damaging five others.

War hero and celebrated pilot Steve Askin, 38, died while fighting the blazes. The Eurocopter AS350-BA helicopter he was flying crashed near Sugarloaf on February 14.

It took 66 days before the fire was declared fully extinguished.

The fires were the first large-scale blazes on the edge of a major urban area in New Zealand.

The two fires started February 13, 2017 and then merged, producing as much energy as four atom bombs.

61 days ago

Fire - Port Hills

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

A fire broke out in the Port Hills in Christchurch this afternoon (14th February).

Here's what you need to know:
- A Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) spokesperson said it was alerted to the vegetation fire near Worsleys Road near Cracroft around 2.15pm.
- The public had been urged to… View more
A fire broke out in the Port Hills in Christchurch this afternoon (14th February).

Here's what you need to know:
- A Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) spokesperson said it was alerted to the vegetation fire near Worsleys Road near Cracroft around 2.15pm.
- The public had been urged to stay away from the area to allow firefighting crews to work. Motorists are also advised to use alternative routes.
- Emergency services are evacuating people from nearby properties to Te Hapua – Halswell Centre / Library & Community Centre.
- With helicopters in the air already, the public is also warned to not fly drones anywhere near the fire ground as this will mean the helicopters will have to be grounded.
- Canterbury District, which includes areas north of the Rakaia River, was under total fire ban until further notice.
- No open-air fires will be allowed and all fire permits will be suspended when a prohibited fire season comes into place at 11.59pm on Wednesday. Dry weather was forecast to continue for the next two months.

Keep up to date with further updates on Stuff

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61 days ago

Thinking About Decking?

Price Smart from Landscaping and Gardeners

Contact us today to speak to your local decking professionals. Our experienced team creates beautiful decks with the fine details being at the heart of every design. If what you are thinking starts with a deck we have you covered.
Speak to a friendly professional 7 days a week on 027 748 9818.
To… View more
Contact us today to speak to your local decking professionals. Our experienced team creates beautiful decks with the fine details being at the heart of every design. If what you are thinking starts with a deck we have you covered.
Speak to a friendly professional 7 days a week on 027 748 9818.
To get in touch to book a site visit.

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63 days ago

Addictive Eaters Anonymous

The Team from Addictive Eaters Anonymous - Christchurch

Monthly AEA Web Events

The AEA Web Event is a monthly online meeting where AEA members from all over the world come together to share their experience, strength and hope. Three members speak for 10 minutes each, followed by member sharing.

The Event is always held on the 3rd Sunday of the … View more
Monthly AEA Web Events

The AEA Web Event is a monthly online meeting where AEA members from all over the world come together to share their experience, strength and hope. Three members speak for 10 minutes each, followed by member sharing.

The Event is always held on the 3rd Sunday of the month which is this Sunday 18 February.

ALL NEWCOMERS WELCOME.

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63 days ago

Troubleshoot Your Broadband: Tips & Savings!

The Team from NZ Compare

Experiencing broadband troubles? Our recent neighbourly poll reveals the top two issues: unstable connections and pricey bills!

Don't worry! Check out our latest article for expert tips to solve these issues.

PLUS, use Broadband Compare to compare NZ's best broadband deals & … View more
Experiencing broadband troubles? Our recent neighbourly poll reveals the top two issues: unstable connections and pricey bills!

Don't worry! Check out our latest article for expert tips to solve these issues.

PLUS, use Broadband Compare to compare NZ's best broadband deals & save up to $300/year. Enjoy smoother internet while keeping cash for treats!
Troubleshoot Now

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63 days ago

Rebecca renews her Cambridge connections

The Team from Ryman Northwood Retirement Village

Classical crossover singer Rebecca Nelson told a captivated Cambridge audience how the town holds a special place in her heart for several reasons.

Rebecca’s performance was one of three shows lined up to entertain residents and soon-to-be residents of Ryman Healthcare’s Patrick Hogan … View more
Classical crossover singer Rebecca Nelson told a captivated Cambridge audience how the town holds a special place in her heart for several reasons.

Rebecca’s performance was one of three shows lined up to entertain residents and soon-to-be residents of Ryman Healthcare’s Patrick Hogan Village in Cambridge, Hilda Ross Village down the road in Hamilton and James Wattie Village in Havelock North.

Describing her connection to Ryman, she says: “It feels like coming home and performing for friends and family.”

Click read for the full story.

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63 days ago

Rebecca renews her Cambridge connections

Diana Isaac Retirement Village

Classical crossover singer Rebecca Nelson told a captivated Cambridge audience how the town holds a special place in her heart for several reasons.

Rebecca’s performance was one of three shows lined up to entertain residents and soon-to-be residents of Ryman Healthcare’s Patrick Hogan … View more
Classical crossover singer Rebecca Nelson told a captivated Cambridge audience how the town holds a special place in her heart for several reasons.

Rebecca’s performance was one of three shows lined up to entertain residents and soon-to-be residents of Ryman Healthcare’s Patrick Hogan Village in Cambridge, Hilda Ross Village down the road in Hamilton and James Wattie Village in Havelock North.

Describing her connection to Ryman, she says: “It feels like coming home and performing for friends and family.”

Click read for the full story.

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64 days ago

Valentine’s Day Shows to Stream

The Team from NZ Compare

This Valentine’s Day, why not snuggle up with your loved one for a movie night in?

We've curated the ultimate list of the latest romantic flicks and binge-worthy shows to make your evening extra special.

Plus, don't forget to compare broadband options on Broadband Compare for the… View more
This Valentine’s Day, why not snuggle up with your loved one for a movie night in?

We've curated the ultimate list of the latest romantic flicks and binge-worthy shows to make your evening extra special.

Plus, don't forget to compare broadband options on Broadband Compare for the best streaming deals!

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64 days ago

Show your favourite local business some love...

Prospa

It's back for a fifth year! Recognise the best local businesses in your neighbourhood by nominating them in the 2024 Prospa Local Business Hero Awards.

Whether it's a bakery team who occasionally sneak you an extra sweet treat, a supermarket employee that's helped carry your bags… View more
It's back for a fifth year! Recognise the best local businesses in your neighbourhood by nominating them in the 2024 Prospa Local Business Hero Awards.

Whether it's a bakery team who occasionally sneak you an extra sweet treat, a supermarket employee that's helped carry your bags to the car or a bookshop that goes out of its way to find the best read just for you. Prospa Local Business Hero helps you show some love to the small businesses with the biggest hearts.

Plus your nomination could help a small business win over $10,000 worth of prizes!

Be a local hero yourself; give your favourite local business owner the recognition they deserve by nominating them in the 2024 Prospa Local Business Hero awards.
Nominate now

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66 days ago

Happy Chinese New year!

The Team from NZ Compare

Happy Chinese Lunar New Year from the team at NZ Compare!
May your year be as powerful and fortunate as the mighty dragon!

Don't forget to enter our Year of the Dragon contest to WIN 1 of 3 X $50 gift cards.

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67 days ago

Step up the creativity

The Team from Resene ColorShop Shirley

Makeover a stool with Resene paints and reuse as a table or organiser. Find out how to rejuvenate your old furniture with these easy step by step instructions.

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67 days ago

Summer Sundays - Free live music

The Team from Citizens Advice Christchurch Area

Enjoy free live music right in the heart of the city across summer.
- every Sunday from 28 January up to 18 February - 2pm to 4pm

Check out the website under 'Read More' for full details.

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67 days ago

Poll: Who should win the Comradery & Communities category?

The Team from Neighbourly.co.nz

The winners of the Summer Snaps competition are being decided upon. Once again, Neighbourly members have the honour of choosing the winner for the Comradery & Communities category. So get your judging hat on!

Check out the finalist images below by clicking on each to see them in full and … View more
The winners of the Summer Snaps competition are being decided upon. Once again, Neighbourly members have the honour of choosing the winner for the Comradery & Communities category. So get your judging hat on!

Check out the finalist images below by clicking on each to see them in full and then cast your vote. Voting closes 12th February.

Who should win the Comradery & Communities category?
  • 26% Sunset at the Jetty
    26% Complete
  • 29.4% Chatting with Pa
    29.4% Complete
  • 6.7% Father/Son living the dream
    6.7% Complete
  • 3% Mount Victoria sky
    3% Complete
  • 6% Harvest Festival rides
    6% Complete
  • 28.9% Walk the plank!
    28.9% Complete
1247 votes
67 days ago

PriceMe Awards 2024 Winners

The Team from NZ Compare

Discover the Best of the Best! The 2024 PriceMe Award Winners have been revealed, voted by thousands of Kiwi consumers!

From household favourites to tech essentials and more. Explore now for top-rated brands and unbeatable deals!
Do you often shop at one of the winning stores or brands?

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D
74 days ago

Book swops

David and Margaret from Redwood

I like to swop books and i know where a lot of the Fridges and lilliput sites are, but i am always willing to look else ware.
So if you know where they are please share your knowledge

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