Fires around Canterbury: please restrict your journeys, ensure emergency vehicles fast access


NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is reminding everyone in Canterbury and other dry parts of the country to restrict their journeys in the current high fire alert period.

“As well as the major fire on the Port Hills, we had a much smaller fire south of the Weedons Ross Road intersection with SH1 near Rolleston this morning,” says NZTA System Manager for Canterbury and the West Coast Mark Pinner.

Traffic was held up for up to 45 minutes southbound with smoke over the highway making conditions dangerous for driving. The fire was extinguished initially but is still being monitored given the hot conditions and nor-westerly winds reviving sparks.

A week ago there were also fires around Kirwee (Central Canterbury, SH73) and Glasnevin (North Canterbury, SH1).

“We need as few vehicles and people around in these circumstances as is possible,” says Mr Pinner. “If you don’t have to head out, stay put. The last thing the emergency services need is a traffic jam as they head to a fire.

“Please support them in ensuring all emergency services, and the contractors supporting them, can access any new site at a moment’s notice.”

  • If it is hot nor-westerly conditions, be aware of the heightened fire risk and check the Christchurch City Council’s pages for updates on the Port Hills fire: 

Port hills fire update(external link)

  •  If you are planning a trip around Canterbury, please check the NZTA traffic and travel map for any closures ahead of time or check the NZTA facebook pages. link)