Christchurch (Port Hill) fires

The fires on the Port Hills sound bad, with a large area affected and hundreds of homes evacuated.

Stuff reports Christchurch Port Hills fires: What you need to know

Fires are continuing to rage in Christchurch. Here’s what you need to know.

GENERAL INFORMATION

If you are at all worried or uncomfortable remaining in your home, please evacuate. You can go to any of the city welfare centres for assistance. So far 450 properties have been officially evacuated.

The fire now covers more than 1800 hectares, or 18 square kilometres.

Eight houses are believed to have been damaged by the fire since yesterday, on Early Valley Rd and Worsley Rd.  An earlier police estimate that as many as 40 homes had “been lost” to the flames has been drastically revised.

A total fire ban is now in place from South Canterbury through to the north end of the Hurunui District, including Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.

If widespread evacuation is needed, emergency services will inform residents directly.

People are advised to close their windows to keep the smoke from the fires out – especially asthmatics and the elderly

The weather in Christchurch will be dry and warm today, with winds forecast in the afternoon.

So it’s bad and could continue to get worse. And disaster gawkers are causing additional problems.

People are advised to stay away from the hills to allow emergency services access and ensure swift evacuation. Do not rubber-neck.

And auto voice recognition or report mispronunciation is also not up to scratch:

More from Stuff:

From Metservice:

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31 Comments

  1. We don’t have so many rubber knickers in Christchuch, its socially conservative here, but i’ll have a closer look.

    Reply
  2. Missy

     /  February 16, 2017

    Thoughts are with everyone affected, it looks pretty bad. I hope it doesn’t get any worse for everyone there.

    Reply
  3. Nelly Smickers

     /  February 16, 2017

    Steve has *just tweeted* this to me….. sad.

    Reply
    • Anonymous Coward

       /  February 16, 2017

      The man DOES need his beauty sleep.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  February 16, 2017

        Brownlee leaving Wellington and visiting has its upside and downside for the flames. He’s all piss and wind.

        Reply
      • Missy

         /  February 16, 2017

        Or maybe he was actually doing some work in dealing with the emergency and couldn’t be arsed dealing with stupid questions from NZ Herald journalists.

        We don’t actually know why (or if) he said that, just because the NZ Herald want to try and manufacture some scandal in this tragedy doesn’t mean there isn’t a reasonable explanation.

        To be honest I would have said a lot worse if some dumbass reporter called me after midnight.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 16, 2017

          That was my reaction too, Missy. I would like to see what the question was. Could put a whole different slant on the answer.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  February 16, 2017

            I heard him complaining about the work being done. Came across as if he knew best, if he were in charge it would have all been sorted by now and was a disparagement of those who are at the firefront and those directing them.

            All respect to those who have to make the hard decisions and are doing the real work to protect my family in the area.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 16, 2017

              He was criticizing the politicians at the top and explicitly not those fighting the fires. Fake news Lefty style.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 16, 2017

              Who are the politicians at the top in a situation like this?
              Would it be the Minister of Civil Defence and Emergency Management?

            • duperez

               /  February 16, 2017

              I heard Brownlee with what I thought was a smart arse attitude. Relegating that to “Fake news Lefty style” is trite and inane.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 16, 2017

              @AC, the Mayors and CEOs of the affected local governments have control until they call the SOE. That was Brownlee’s beef.

              Yours is Lefty fake news.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 16, 2017

              Mine was a f’n question daisy.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 16, 2017

              @AC, b.s. It wasn’t a question, it was a direct implication.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 16, 2017

              It was a question, note the “?”. I thought you might know.

              I consulted the CD website, there a re two people that can call a SOE, the nominated official locally and the minister. The minister can call it over the local guy. So while he can moan that they weren’t fast enough, it was ultimately up to him, and he could have called it sooner himself.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 16, 2017

              Fair point. However, in the case of a fire that presumably means the Minister would have to have specialist information from outside his department and I’m not sure how that works through the Fire Service hierarchy.

          • Anonymous Coward

             /  February 16, 2017

            The resident Trump lovers think they can sniff the putrid aroma of fake news, what a surprise. I’m sure Breitbart has an impartial view of the wildfires guys.

            Reply
        • Exactly Missy. Manufacturing bigoted scandal from false news.

          Reply
          • Missy

             /  February 16, 2017

            I am a little iffy on it being false news, more like manipulating the public by manufacturing bigoted scandal from cherry picked quotes to make someone they don’t like look bad.

            Without knowing the full context of the conversation it cannot be said what he meant or what he was replying to. Another case of the media trying to manipulate the public to follow their line of thinking by running an agenda on partial facts instead of reporting all of the facts so that a well informed public can know what is going on.

            Reply
            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 16, 2017

              I think you’re looking for stuff that isn’t there. If you read the sentence carefully all your questions are answered. Reporter rings after midnight, Brownlee say’s …..
              All the reporter would have said is “can I ask you a few questions” or whatever reporters say at the start of a call.
              Should the minister in charge of States of Emergency answer questions about an ongoing SOE after midnight?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 16, 2017

          My guess, Missy, would be that he said it in a way that meant…well, it’s hard to express, but that his tone would have been one of deep sarcasm. Did a reporter really imagine that Gerry Brownlee was unaware of this ? It would be as if someone had rung him up to tell him that there had been some more earthquakes recently. Really ? I had no idea, thank you for telling me. (slam)

          The ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ is unlikely to have meant that he didn’t already know.

          Reply
          • Missy

             /  February 16, 2017

            “My guess, Missy, would be that he said it in a way that meant…well, it’s hard to express, but that his tone would have been one of deep sarcasm.”

            Unlike you Kitty I would not presume to guess what his tone was, and I would never presume to use what appear to be personal feelings about someone to project a negative meaning into something without knowing what came first.

            Do you know what the reporter asked him in a phone call after midnight? Do you know what tone the reporter used? Do you know if the reporter was polite or accusatory? Without this information I am at a loss as to how you can ‘guess’ that Brownlee’s tone was ‘one of deep sarcasm’.

            I have met Gerry Brownlee on a number of occasions, to me he has always come across as polite and not at all sarcastic, I have never heard him use a tone of ‘deep sarcasm’.

            “The ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ is unlikely to have meant that he didn’t already know.”

            Huh? Not sure where that is coming from, I never thought that it meant that he didn’t know, but without knowing what was said that preceded that we will never know what he meant by it. And you can bet that no journalist will admit if they said something stupid to provoke that response – or if it was a reasonable response to what the journalist said.

            Essentially the journalist sounds like he is trying to manufacture some scandal and make Brownlee look bad by cherry picking what he says – ie: trying to shape the agenda and not report the facts.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 17, 2017

              You have never rung him up at midnight to tell him ‘news’ that he already knew, I would imagine.

              Is it even remotely likely that he would have been unaware that the fires had begun ?

              Just because you have never heard someone whom you have met speak in a particular way, doesn’t mean that they never do. Very few people would never be sarcastic.

          • Missy

             /  February 16, 2017

            Since you like speculation and guess work Kitty, I will play the game, I guess that the ‘you’ve got to be kidding’ comment was in response to the time that the reporter called – especially as he was told to call him in the morning. I don’t know about you, but if someone called me after midnight my response would be exactly that!

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 17, 2017

              It could be that, I suppose. I just took it that he was being sarcastic about being rung up to be told stale news as if he wouldn’t have heard it already ! Or both. Either way, it’s obvious that he wasn’t saying it because he didn’t know about the fires.

  4. Reply
  5. Kitty Catkin

     /  February 16, 2017

    I once had a bush.hill fire near me. It wasn’t remotely on this scale, but the sight and smoke and smell were really frightening and the fear of it coming closer was terrible; my sympathy to the Christchurch people from one who knows the helpless feeling of living near a bush fire.The stink is like nothing else. Seeing it creeping nearer is about as terrifying a thing as one can imagine.

    Reply
  6. Missy

     /  February 17, 2017

    The helicopter pilot killed earlier this week in the fire was a Reserve SAS soldier (former F-T Regular Force). This guy is a true hero, not just for his military service (where he earned the NZ Gallantry Star), but obviously also in his civilian life where he went to help those who needed it.

    His death will be keenly felt, not just by his colleagues in his civilian life, but also those in the SAS, Army, and wider Defence Community.

    I have so much respect for people like him, those that are willing to risk their own safety for the rest of us, whether they are Military, Police, Firefighters – or helicopter pilots who are providing a service in difficult or dangerous situations.

    Reply

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