You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Police investigate Port Hills fire

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/02/2017
port hills fire © Kai Schwoerer/ Getty Images port hills fire

Police are investigating the cause of the two fires in the Port Hills in conjunction with New Zealand Fire Service investigators.

The blazes have destroyed 11 home and outbuildings, spreading across more than 2000 hectares since Monday.

The Summit Road fire was reported about 90 minutes after the Early Valley Road fire was reported, police say.

Police will not speculate on the cause of the fires until the investigation is completed, which is expected to take some weeks.

They said on Friday that while there had been speculation about the cause of the two fires, no definitive cause for either had been established.

On Thursday Prime Minister Bill English said the Port Hills wildfires could be the result of an arson attack.

Mr English cancelled a full schedule of events to travel to Christchurch and tour the fire grounds with Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee on Thursday.

"I've only had a very brief description of the fire starting in two places at about the same time which, to someone like me, looks a bit suspicious," Mr English said after viewing the area from a helicopter.

"I wouldn't want to jump to conclusions but that seems a bit odd."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon