Just one fire crew remains on the ground today monitoring the
site of fires that have devastated parts of Canterbury.
But with tinder-dry conditions the situation was far from
being treated as over, Fire Service spokesman Brent Dunn
Firefighters have left the site of a scrub fire which at one
point spread over some 100 hectares near West Melton, and a
fire at Mcleans Island last night has also been extinguished.
The site of Thursday's major blaze between Rolleston and
Prebbleton now appears to be out, but one fire crew remains
on-scene in case of any further flare-ups.
"We're on an enhanced response to any vegetation fires in
Canterbury for quite a while," Mr Dunn said.
"Conditions are still tinder-dry. It's just going to take the
wind to whip up and we'll probably be dealing with the same
sort of thing again. But hopefully people have seen the news
and will be a little bit more careful about what they do."
A blaze that burned through 2 hectares of bushland near
Christchurch Airport late last night is being investigated
after fears it was deliberately lit.
It took up to 50 firefighters to bring the fire under control
Temperatures around Canterbury were expected to rise above
the mid-20s today, with Timaru expected to be one of the
hottest areas with a top of 30C.
It was earlier feared that "dry thunderstorms" could spark
more fires in the region today.
MetService forecaster Allister Gorman said the West Coast had
been pounded by thunderstorms this morning, but the storms
had not moved over to the Canterbury planes as originally
"There definitely was some activity around Fairlie late this
morning, and we've had some stuff in Lake Coleridge area as
well, but generally most of the Canterbury planes has managed
to escape so far, and there's probably very little chance now
of anything turning up.
What is dry thunderstorm?
A thunderstorm and lightning that occurs without any
How does it work?
Dry thunder forms when there is a lot of dry air beneath a
thunder cloud, which is sitting high in the atmosphere. As
the rain falls from the cloud, it evaporates in the dry air
before it has the chance to hit the ground.
Is it common?
It is not very common in New Zealand, although it has been
happening a bit in the past few weeks because of the hot and
relatively dry air drifting over from Australia.
On average, New Zealand has about half a dozen dry
thunderstorms a year, compared with a normal thunderstorm
happening somewhere in New Zealand every two to three days.
It is more likely to happen on the east coast of both