Pukaki Downs Fire - 6.30pm 1 September 2020

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Pukaki Downs Fire - 6.30pm 1 September 2020

Firefighting efforts have continued today at the fire near Lake Pukaki which has been burning since 11.25am Sunday. 

Cloud cover means aerial operations were suspended today. Ground crews continued work to confirm safety zones around property and structures and on containment around the perimeter of the fire.  

The fire remains active and the affected area now extends to approximately 3,000 hectares with a perimeter of 31km (this has been refined due to more accurate mapping). Wind speeds have fallen overnight along with rain and then snow.

Alpine Energy are working to restore power to affected properties. The owners of properties in the fire zone attended a briefing this afternoon and are now able to access their homes. We thank them for their understanding and co-operation while they have been displaced. 

SH8 is open to traffic. There is no current or expected threat to the Twizel township or Mount Cook Village.

Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare visited the fire zone today with a representative from the National Emergency Management Agency.

He also visited the incident room in Twizel, met with affected families and thanked the pilots and aerial support team at the airport. He extended his thanks to all involved in the response to the fire and was impressed by both the professionalism of the response and the resilience of the local community.

Planning is underway for tomorrow. Crews will remain at the scene overnight and the situation will be assessed at first light on Wednesday.

Note: We expect to provide a further update at 11am Wednesday morning.