Fire closes SH1 with 'multiple structures under threat'

File photo
File photo
Fire crews have brought a large blaze in Canterbury under control that put "multiple structures under threat" last night.

A Fire and Emergency spokesperson told the Herald crews are battling a large vegetation fire on both sides of State Highway 1, south of Waipara.

"Crews from seven brigades are currently in attendance, with two helicopters in the air,’ they said.

They said multiple homes are under threat.

Police said the "large scrub fire" near SH1 and the Waipara River in Glasnevin, Hurunui has forced part of the road to be closed.

"The road is closed to north and south bound traffic whilst Fire and Emergency crews respond to the blaze," police said.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area and use alternative routes.

It comes after fire crews battled a huge forest fire outside Christchurch on Sunday night that swept through 80 hectares of pine forest, scrub and farmland.

Ten houses were evacuated after the fire near the Waimakariri River engulfed huge pine trees within seconds.

Seven helicopters and eight fresh crews of firefighters were brought in yesterday morning.

An aerial inspection after first light confirmed that there had been no buildings damaged or livestock lost.

On Monday afternoon Fenz said the large blaze was under control.

Kirwee local Derek Anson was evacuated around 11pm-11.30pm with a neighbour suddenly knocking on his door.

He made three trips, grabbing what he needed, before retreating to the township and spending a restless night "sitting under a tree watching the flames and the smoke".

A few times in the night, when he saw the night skies light up with flare-ups, he wondered aloud to a friend, "Is that my place?"

Anson, however, praised the firefighters for their sterling work and when he was told that his property was safe, responded, "Thank god."