NZ Fire Service update on weather-related emergencies
New Zealand Fire Service update on weather -related emergency incidents:
Severe gales have left a trail of fire and destruction in their wake as they head north and away from the hard hit Canterbury area.
This morning, three helicopters are dumping water on a fire in the Ashley Forest in North Canterbury. Principal Rural Fire Officer Allan Grigg said “Latest reports are that the bit of rain we’ve had has helped and that the fire is no longer the raging monster it was. We had one report last night of it appearing to have a five kilometre front. It is being fought on two flanks with four helicopters while heavy machinery clears the fire roads. We will bring in ground crews this afternoon.”
This morning, Kaikoura firefighters are tackling a house fire while a rural crew is attacking a small fire in a plantation inland from the town. In South Canterbury crews are responding to a fire in a tree line in South Eyre Road .
The Fire Service Southern Communications Centre Operations Manager Chris Munro reports the number of calls has dropped significantly and crews are now able to respond to the many reports of trees fallen onto power lines, houses and roads.
2.30pm yesterday and 5.54am this morning there were over
1800 emergency calls relating to the
Christchurch Area Manager Dave Stackhouse said two firefighters who were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after tackling a large fire in West Melton last night have now been discharged. The fire at Sandy Knoll badly damaged a large implement shed and stables. No animals were lost.
As the wind heads north, Wellington fire crews are braced ready to respond. Area Manager Peter Dempsey says the region is fairly hardened and other recent wind storms may well have brought down many of the vulnerable trees. “However, we always have the ability to bring in additional resources if they are needed to deal with emergency situations,” he said.
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