Port Hills fire ‘extinguished’

Helicopters were brought in to help battle the Port Hills fire. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER

After more than five weeks, fire authorities have declared Port Hills fire to be finally fully extinguished.

The fire started as two separate fires at Early Valley and Marleys Hill on February 13 and later merged into one fire.

Aerial and ground fire-fighting efforts resulted in 90 per cent of the area within the fire perimeter being controlled by February 23, and 99 per cent of the fire area controlled by February 28

Fire-fighting crews remained at the scene of the fire until mid-March, working to dampen and dig out remaining hot spots, with their work assisted by thermal imaging from drones and helicopters.

Since that time, regular site visits have been made to the fire ground to inspect the site.

Recovery plans are being developed by both city council and Selwyn District Council to assist residents within the area affected by the fires and guide the future regeneration and replanting of these areas.

“I pay tribute to the firefighters who worked tirelessly to get this massive fire under control,” said city council Mayor Lianne Dalziel

We owe them a debt of gratitude. I also thank their families for their support during this time.  We now look forward to re-planting the Port Hills – a precious asset for our region.”

“Emergencies like this reinforce the strength of our communities to respond and recover together,” said Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton.

“Coordinated responses don’t happen by accident and I applaud the work of key agencies in fighting this fire and helping us prepare for future events,” he said.