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Dunlops Road & Daiken Fires, North Canterbury

Fire and Emergency continue to fight two significant fires near the Ashley/Rakahuri River in North Canterbury.

A third blaze was discovered at the old dumpsite behind the Rangiora Showgrounds at approximately 6.30am this morning. The fire was quickly extinguished by crews and no further resources are required in that area.

The Dunlop’s Road fire is burning along the riverbank in the vicinity of Dunlop’s Road, Loburn, while the Daiken Fire is burning along the riverbank to the east of the Ashley-Loburn Bridge.

Both fires are still contained and not currently growing, however they are not considered to be under control and the situation remains high-risk, particularly with the predicted wind change to the south west late afternoon.

Weather continues to be a complicating factor, with high temperatures, strong winds, an upcoming wind change to the southwest later this afternoon, as well as the risk of falling trees, will make the situation difficult for firefighters throughout the day.

The hot dry conditions and strong winds are resulting in flare-ups and residents can expect to see more smoke and aircraft activity as these are dealt with.

The focus for crews on the fire ground this morning is to prepare for this afternoons wind change by continuing to secure a perimeter around the fires and strengthen containment lines. The wind change is expected to arrive between 4pm and 6pm this evening.

The fire risk in the North Canterbury area is extreme and conditions are not expected to reduce until this afternoon with the cooler temperatures and the chance of rain. Once the fires are under control, it could take several days for them to be completely extinguished.

The fire is still within its containment lines and no properties are currently at risk. Fire and Emergency Incident Controller Graeme Knight says the fires will remain dangerous and unpredictable throughout the day and people should stay well away from the area.

With more smoke expected throughout the day, Mr Knight advises that anyone living nearby should keep their windows closed and stay indoors. Anyone adversely affected by smoke should contact their doctor or visit the nearest hospital emergency department.

North Canterbury remains in a Prohibited Fire Season and people should avoid any activities that have the potential to cause sparks.

If people have any concerns, they should immediately dial 111.

Dunlops Road Fire

Fire and Emergency was called to the Dunlops Road Fire at 3.30pm yesterday.

Latest estimates remain that the fire has burnt through around 93 hectares of vegetation. There are currently 2 appliances, 6 tankers and ground crews in attendance, totalling around 56 personnel. Heavy machinery is being used to create fire breaks. It is considered to be contained, but not under control.

Daikens Fire

Fire and Emergency were alerted to this fire east of the Ashley-Loburn fire at 5.30am on Monday morning. The estimated burnt area remains at approximately 12 hectares.

There are currently 1 appliance, 2 tankers and ground crews in attendance as well as support from heavy machinery totalling roughly 30 personnel. It’s considered to be fully contained, but not under control.

Both fires will be covered by three helicopters throughout the day.

Fire and Emergency are working with Environment Canterbury, the Department of Conservation and local iwi to minimise the impact of firefighting operations on the nearby bird sanctuary and sites of natural significance in the Ashley River. Neighbouring Council’s are also being kept up to date.

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