Please see below updates on the two fires in Canterbury, as well as comment from District Commander Dave Stackhouse.
These will be the only updates on these fires today, unless significant developments occur.
Glasnevin fire under control
Fire and Emergency crews have been working very hard overnight to extinguish and dampen down hotspots within the fire area.
There are two crews on site today continuing to monitor and extinguish the fire. There are several areas of deep-seated burning due to the extreme dry conditions in the area.
Incident Commander Des Irving again thanked the affected residents and travellers for their patience.
“We realise the impact closing State Highway 1 had on many people last night, but this was for the safety of everyone involved.
“Both lanes of the road re-opened this morning, but there is still fire trucks moving across the road, as well as smoke in the area, so please travel with care as we want everyone to get home safely and for our firefighters to be able to conduct their work in a safe way.”
For tonight, one crew will monitor and patrol the fire ground, and will be supported by a drone team mapping the fire and identifying hotspots.
Kirwee fire extinguishment work continues
The massive effort continues to try extinguish this large, deep-seated fire.
Incident Commander Brian Keown says overnight crews have monitored and patrolled the incident, and the drone team was again in action detecting hotspots.
“We again have around 50 firefighters and an Incident Management Team working at this fire, with similar resources also expected tomorrow.
“This shows just how deep-seated some of the burning is at this fire, making it difficult to extinguish.
“It is hot, dry dusty conditions, and hard, arduous work for our firefighters.”
Four excavators and multiple tankers are being used. One helicopter is on site on standby if needed.
This morning, Fire and Emergency met with impacted farmers and Environment Canterbury to discuss recovery.
Traffic and speed restrictions remain in place, with Brian Keown asking people to drive with care around the fire ground.
Crews will monitor and patrol the fire ground tonight.
Fire risk remains very high across Canterbury
Canterbury District Commander Dave Stackhouse says it has been a very busy start to the year for the Canterbury brigades, and there is little to no relief in the forecast for the next two months.
“Hot, dry, and windy weather is expected to continue, causing vegetation to dry out. In these conditions, fires spread quickly and are difficult to control, as we have seen in Kirwee.
People have to keep taking extreme care when undertaking any activities that may cause sparks, like mowing, welding, or driving vehicles in long dry grass, Dave Stackhouse says.
“People must have ways to extinguish any fire that may start from sparks and not undertake this work during the heat of the day, instead defer to early morning when the temperature is lower.
“People also need to be prepared to evacuate their homes if they are impacted by a wildfire,” he says.
“In both Kirwee and Glasnevin, people were either evacuated, under prepare-to-evacuate orders, or self-evacuated.
“This can have a big impact on people, so you need to be prepared and have a plan for how you will get out, and where you will go, if you do have to evacuate. This includes your livestock and animals.”
People can take simple steps to make their properties easier to defend against fire.
– Clearing flammable material from 10m around homes and buildings.
– Moving firewood stacked against houses
– Clearing gutters of dried leaves etc that will easily catch fire
– Clearing flammable material from under decks
– Trimming trees and bushes and removing the trimmings
– Keeping grass short (using a trimmer with a nylon line is safer in these conditions than a mower or trimmer with a metal blade that could create a spark)