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Drone monitoring Port Hills fire

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/02/2017

A drone is being flown above the Port Hills in Christchurch to help the Fire Service gather thermal and infrared hotspot information.

At the same time, Civil Defence has issued a reminder that there is a strict no-fly zone over the area for members of the public.

That means they can't operate drones or remotely piloted aircraft systems in the zone until midday on Friday.

The state of emergency declared last week was extended on Tuesday as fires in the area kept firefighters busy, despite being contained.

Around 20 crews were creating control lines with heavy machinery and with support from helicopters. They were also removing dangerous trees.

Civil Defence warned that smoke might cover the Christchurch CBD and airport over the next few days and that people should phone their GP if they suffered respiratory problems.

On Tuesday morning, residents of about 100 homes from Kennedys Bush and Hoon Hay Valley Roads were allowed back to their properties.

However, officials warned conditions could still cause hot spots to flare up and the fire to spread, so residents should be prepared to evacuate immediately.

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