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Pukai Downs Fire - 8PM 30 August 2020

A fire near Lake Pukaki was reported to Fire and Emergency New Zealand at approximately 11.25am on Sunday morning. The fire is currently burning over an area of 2,000 hectares of forestry and scrub on both sides of SH80. Strong nor-west winds have hampered attempts to control the fire and are forecast to continue overnight.

SH8 is currently closed due to smoke blowing across the highway. Police are working with NZTA to allow residents through but this may take some time. The fire is expected to remain on the western side of SH8.

Helicopter and fixed wing firefighting resources were stood down at dusk and will resume operations at first light tomorrow. Three structural protection teams are en route from Ashburton, Timaru and Temuka. They will remain on scene with a local crew and a command unit with the objective of preserving property overnight.

There is no current threat to Twizel township (other than possible smoke nuisance) and this isn’t expected to change overnight or over the course of Monday. Fire and Emergency NZ personnel will be monitoring the sitation continuously overnight.

There is no current threat to Mount Cook village. Day visitors and campers have been escorted.

We are grateful for the offers of help from the community. Currently we are organising food and accommodation for a number of personnel who are assisting and we thank those who have provided resources and support at short notice.

We don’t expect to release further updates this evening and intend to provide a further update at 8am tomorrow morning.

© Scoop Media

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