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Fire/USAR media update - Monday 7 March 2011

New Zealand Fire Service and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)

Media update from Assistant National Commander Paul Baxter

Monday 7 March 2011


• Forsyth Barr - Work is continuing on clearing the stairwell in the Forsyth Barr building. Progress is being made but is slow work. The United States USAR team is working on this site with support from the New Zealand Fire Service, other emergency services and private contractors.

• Grand Chancellor – this building has now been cleared by USAR and operations there have concluded.

• The focus for other USAR operations includes controlled deconstruction and debris clearance. It also includes assessing and clearing smaller red and yellow stickered buildings, both within the central city and in the suburbs.

• Multi-agency teams including New Zealand and international USAR team members, firefighters and police were yesterday able to clear about 300 buildings and will be continuing to operate today. They have a priority list of buildings that has been decided in association with Civil Defence, the City Council and Police but will also try to assist other building owners they come across, where possible.

• Civil Defence is the main point of contact for inquiries about buildings.


• With the cold and damp weather conditions, the Fire Service continue to be able to help residents facing weather related problems, for example putting tarpaulins on damaged roofs. Contact the Fire Service.

• Power is continuing to be reconnected in some areas of the central city, and we remind people to be very careful. Any queries about the resumption of power to your property please contact Orion on 0800 363 9898.

• The fire ban remains in place. This means no open fires. Barbecues and gas cookers can be used outside. This fire ban is in place to ensure vital resources remain where they are needed.


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