Fire & Emergency New Zealand

Final update - Kirwee fire

Final update - Kirwee fire

Firefighters expect to have the fire at Kirwee extinguished this afternoon, with the plan to hand the site back to the landowners when this milestone is achieved.

Incident Commander Brian Keown says over the last two days firefighters have continued to work hard extinguishing the deep-seated hotspots throughout the fire area.

"Yesterday we had 35 firefighters plus support staff, diggers and tankers on site," he says.

"Today we have scaled that back to 17 firefighters, and we expect to have this fire out this afternoon.

"Everyone at Fire and Emergency Canterbury would like to thank the public and the impacted community of Courtenay for their support and patience while we have been dealing with this fire."

Speed restrictions in the area will be lifted once Fire and Emergency crews leave the site this afternoon.

"We thank those motorists for observing those speed restrictions. This has helped keep our staff safe while they have been carrying out their work," Brian Keown says.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Canterbury has seen some light drizzle falling in the past few days, but this has done little to reduce the fire danger. The hot weather is expected to return next week, with the fire danger set to increase once again.

The District remains in a prohibited fire season - meaning no open-air fires - and on Friday a ban on fireworks and sky lanterns was added.

"We ask people not to carry out any activities that might cause a spark and ignition, for example, mowing, using machinery, welding or driving through long grass," Brian Keown says.

"For those in at-risk areas make sure you have an escape plan.

"If anyone sees smoke or fire, please ring 111 immediately."