Dunlops Road & Daiken Fires, North Canterbury
Fire and Emergency continue to fight two significant fires near the Ashley/Rakahuri River in North Canterbury.
The Dunlops Road fire is burning along the riverbank in the vicinity of Dunlops Road, Loburn, while the Daiken Fire is burning along the riverbank to the east of the Ashley-Loburn Bridge.
Whilst the both fires are contained and perimeters established, they are not considered to be under control and the situation remains high-risk.
Weather continues to be a complicating factor and even though some rain is forecast, it is not expected to make a huge impact on the fire. Fortunately the gusty sou’wester predicted earlier did not eventuate however, strong winds and the risk of falling trees makes the situation difficult for fire fighters. A southwest wind change will prevail through this evening and into the morning. The team will continue to monitor the weather closely.
Night crews will be in place for both fires. The crews on the fire ground this evening will patrol the containment lines and respond to any flare-ups as required. Full fire fighting operations will resume in the morning with an increased resource to focus on the deep seated burn areas in the fire ground.
Two minor injuries have been reported from the fire ground, one being treated on site and one fire fighter transported to Christchurch Hospital.
The fires are still active and the entire area is dangerous for the public to be in or around, so please stay away from both of the fire areas. 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.
The Incident Controller Graeme Knight advises that there make be more smoke and some dust clouds from operations and 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.
Areas along the riverbank where birds are nesting have been identified and crews have been instructed not to work in those areas. The nesting areas are a reasonable distance away from main operations. Fire and Emergency will continue to monitor this with advice from Environment Canterbury and Department of Conservation.