Pukaki Downs Fire - 8.30pm 31 August 2020

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Pukaki Downs Fire - 8.30pm 31 August 2020

Crews have reported that good progress has been made today in efforts to fight the fire near Lake Pukaki. 

The fire has been burning since 11.25am Sunday and has now burned approximately 3,100 hectares with a perimeter of 25km. 

Objectives for the day were to contain the fire within the existing perimeter and strengthen perimeters around property and structures.  

Nor-wester wind gusts were not as high as forecast and helicopters were able to continue firefighting efforts until dusk.

The Pukaki Scientific Reserve has been extensively damaged. 

No further injuries have been reported.

SH8 is open to traffic. SH80 remains closed. There is no current or expected threat to the Twizel township or Mount Cook Village.

18 helicopters, two fixed wing aircraft, 14 fire appliances, eight tankers, five heavy diggers and approximately 150 personnel have been working at the scene today, supported by an Incident Management Team of around 25 people based in Twizel.

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

Note: a further update is expected around 9am Tuesday morning.