Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Media briefing: Christchurch Rural Fire situation

The fire which began at about 4.30pm in a pine plantation just south of the Spencer Park picnic area in Christchurch's north-east is expected to take several days to completely put out.

Principal Rural Fire Officer Keith Marshall has been unable to respond to all the news media calls made to him and asks if you would please call me from the morning on. I'll try to provide regular updates and, where time allows, ensure the senior Rural Fire officer on the scene is available to speak to reporters.

Here's some information which may be of use:

1) Early today (Mon, 9 Jan), the fire control headquarters will move from Spencer Park to the main buildings at Bottle Lake Forest Park 2) Overnight a smaller number of fire crews will be working on the outside edge of the fire zone. The aim for overnight crews is to confine the fire to its existing area. From tomorrow morning, the effort to beat it back will be scaled up again and it is likely at least two helicopters with monsoon buckets will be working to assist this effort.

3) The fire is in a stand of old pine trees at the south-eastern corner of the Council's Spencer Park and in the scrub and dunes of the beach there. It is in an area of perhaps 35-40ha, with the burning area at least doubling in size from 5-9pm last night. The area borders Bottle Lake Forest and heavy machinery will be working overnight to widen fire breaks to the south, between the area of fire and Bottle Lake forestry, and on its northern flank.

4) Just to the west of Spencer Park's picnic area is the Spencer Beach Holiday Park. Last night there were about 660 people either living or holidaying there. As a precaution a small number of people in about a dozen tent and caravan sites were asked to move to sites further north in case the fire broke out overnight.

5) Mr Marshall says the fire area contains a large amount of dry fuel on the ground, mainly deep beds of pine needles and scrub, and it could take four or five days before the fire is beaten and all hot spots are dealt with.

6) Because tanker trucks and other heavy equipment will be using the area, only people who are staying in the holiday park will be allowed into the area. People will also be discouraged from using Bottle Lake Forest tracks which lead up into the north-eastern part of the forest.

The City Council would appreciate any assistance the news media can provide in telling people that they should not try to get into the area of the fire.

7) Rural Fire has also been dealing with a second fire in the area. This was a pasture/scrub fire on land between the old Main North Road and the main trunk railway line south of the Waimakariri River and, if it had jumped east across the railway would have threatened the Cheneys plantation, another forest owned by the Selwyn Plantation Board. Defence Force personnel have been assisting Rural Fire crews in controlling this fire.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages