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Port Hills fire: what you need to know

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/02/2017

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FIRE IN CHRISTCHURCH'S PORT HILLS

* Eleven houses and two sheds have been destroyed

* 450 homes evacuated in the Port Hills - affecting more than 1000 residents

* States of emergency declared by Christchurch and Selwyn councils

* 14 helicopters, three planes, at least 130 firefighters, and 86 Defence Force staff and police are on site

* Prime Minister says fires "contained but not controlled"

* The fire is now covering more than 2000 hectares of scrub and forest, according to Civil Defence

* One firefighter was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation but has been released

* Cashmere Primary School, Cashmere Early Learning Centre and Kidsfirst Kindergarten were closed on Thursday, while Governors Bay School was open

* Residents are being directed to the Te Hapua Halswell Centre and the Nga Hau e Wha Marae - with about a dozen people using centres

* Civil Defence says no time-frame yet for residents returning

* Locals are offering to host evacuees on a Facebook evacuation page

* A mayoral fund has been set up by the Selwyn District Council for those affected

* Crews from the US Coastguard ship Polar Star have been assisting, and offers of help from Australian firefighters were also being considered.

* The two major fires raging since Monday have merged into a single blaze

* Weather forecast looks unfavourable with winds picking up on Thursday and no significant rain predicted until the weekend

* Radio and cellphone transmissions towers on Sugarloaf hill under threat from fires

* Sections of more than a dozen roads in the area have been closed

* Health warning issued to residents in the city as smoke billows across the city - with one child in hospital for smoke-related asthma

* Fire crews managed to keep flames away from Christchurch Adventure Park overnight

* Helicopter pilot Steve Askin, a former SAS soldier who won the New Zealand Gallantry Star, was killed after his chopper crashed on Tuesday fighting the fires

* Total fire ban in place across South Canterbury through to the north end of the Hurunui District.

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