Fire crews keep close eye on Port Hills after flare-up overnight

Fire and Emergency NZ crews remain at the scene of a vegetation blaze on the Port Hills.

Fenz wildfire manager Tim Mitchell told RNZ's Morning Report there was one flare-up overnight.

As a precaution, a couple of helicopters are on standby. 

Four crews and three helicopters were needed to bring the large blaze, which broke out about 11am on Monday, under control.

A Waka Kotahi NZTA spokesperson said the southbound lane of SH76 around Port Hills Rd and Chapmans Rd reopened at 9pm on Monday, but the northbound lane remained closed on Tuesday.

"Christchurch always can be a bit of a fickle place this time of year in terms of winds changing direction during the day but at the moment [with] clear skies, calm conditions, [it is] good to be able to get on top of that early this morning," Mitchell said.

The scrub fire on Monday. Photo: Deon Swiggs
The scrub fire on Monday. Photo: Deon Swiggs
Reasonably regular rain meant there was a fair bit of green vegetation, he said.

"So, it's actually not looking too bad for this time of year."

The fire was a timely reminder that they could happen at any time, he said.

"At the moment, generally low fire risk conditions across the country but low risk doesn't mean no risk so really important people heed what's happened on the Port Hills yesterday."

Mitchell said people need to prepare their properties and assess the risk of a fire.