20ha fire near Christchurch contained but not fully extinguished

Homes came under threat from a fire burning north of Christchurch last night after some of the city's residents fled another blaze earlier in the day.

Residents were evacuated as 18 crews and three helicopters tackled the large scrub fire near Pines Beach after emergency teams were called in at 3.06pm.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand said the fire is now contained but not controlled.

"Our crews fought very bravely to successfully protect houses threatened by the fire so that residents are now being allowed back to their homes." principal rural fire officer Bruce Janes says.

Two crews remained at the fire site overnight to continue fighting the fire.

Today two crews of six will take over the work. They’ll have a 25 tonne excavator to assist them.

"Two helicopters and a fixed wing water bomber will be also be on standby for this fire if required or any other that might occur in this hot weather."

People are being asked to be extra vigilant about fire danger, particularly over the next few days, Janes said.

One firefighter was also understood to have required treatment.

"One patient was taken to Christchurch Hospital in a moderate condition," St John said.

Photo: George Heard
Photo: George Heard
It came as quick-thinking firefighters earlier saved a dozen at-risk properties in Christchurch's coastal Redcliffs suburb on a day when temperatures soared to 28degC.

Residents had earlier been evacuated from Redcliffs as the uncontrolled fire crept closer to suburban homes.

The fire in Redcliffs. Photo: George Heard
The fire in Redcliffs. Photo: George Heard
Six fire crews and two helicopters tackled the large scrub fire on Balmoral Hill, near Glentrae Rd, which broke out around 1.40pm.

It had been largely contained by 4pm.

Fire and Emergency's Darren Aitken said quick thinking by those on the ground saved dozens of at-risk properties.

The crews put themselves directly between the fire and homes as they battled the blaze, he said.

Fenz earlier said the blaze had stretched 50m x 100m and a number of homes were under threat.

Photo: George Heard, NZME
Photo: George Heard, NZME







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