INDEPENDENT NEWS

Port Hills Fire Update #19

Published: Mon 19 Feb 2024 02:50 PM
Drone crews have identified 17 more hotspots at the Port Hills fire, meaning there are now 40 hotspots that firefighters are actively working to extinguish today. There are 100 firefighters and 20 support personnel working alongside five helicopters and heavy machinery to work through the hotspots, many of which are deep underground. Incident Commander Steve Kennedy says good progress continues to be made. "Depending on how conditions develop today we are planning to reduce our crews from tomorrow. "This should not be seen as a sign that the fire will be extinguished soon - it will take some time for us to work through all the hotspots. "I would like to thank the nearby residents and wider community for their understanding while we continue to work on this fire." Fire and Emergency has been supported by the New Zealand Army which has provided catering and Army fire crews at the incident. "This has made a big difference and we’re very grateful for their support," Steve Kennedy says. A fixed cordon remains between Summit Road and Dyers Pass Road as water tankers and crews are working just off the road. The public is warned to avoid any high-risk activities that generate sparks, or if they have to, doing it in morning before 10am which is the coolest part of the day. High-risk activities include:Using equipment that generate sparks, or where blades can strike a stone and cause a spark (eg welders, grinders, mowers, chainsaws).Parking vehicles in long grass - hot exhausts can start a fire.

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