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Port Hills firefighters make good progress

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/02/2017

Firefighters say they are making good progress in controlling the fire in the Worsleys Road area of Christchurch's Port Hills.

Patrols will continue in the area, but crews will no longer be actively working there unless called in for a flare-up.

Fire Service liaison officer Bruce Irvine says residents are asked to help by being vigilant and to contact emergency services if they see any sign of the fire reigniting.

"Our crews have made great progress and we're pleased to be able to pull back from the Worsleys area, but we really need people to keep a watch on things for us,'' he said.

"The more eyes we have out there looking the better."

Fire services are continuing operations in other areas affected by fires that broke out more than a week ago and burnt through 2000ha of scrub and forest.

Earlier on Wednesday, Civil Defence announced that cordons had been relaxed at Worsleys Road, Kennedys Bush Road and Hoon Hay Valley Road to allow residents and landowers to return to their properties.

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

Officials have warned conditions could still cause hot spots to flare up and the flames to spread, and said residents should be prepared to evacuate immediately.

About 400 homes were evacuated after the fires started on Monday night last week.

At least nine homes were destroyed and two damaged, according to latest Civil Defence figures.

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