Rolleston and Coutts Road fires under control

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Rolleston and Coutts Road fires under control

Fire and Emergency New Zealand is making a plea to Kiwis to be vigilant about fire safety over the coming weeks, as firefighting crews worked through the night and this morning to get two fires in Canterbury under control.

“Both the Rolleston and Coutts Road, Christchurch fires which ignited yesterday are now under control prior to expected winds later today,” said Richard McNamara, Regional Manager, Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

“The Rolleston Fire has not caused any further damage overnight with urban and rural crews continuing to dig out hit areas and douse any heat. Fire crews will continue to monitor the area today, tonight and over Christmas Day with an expected southerly wind change tomorrow predicted to bring some temporary relief.”

Heavy machinery is working on the Coutts Road fire to open up the piles of sawdust and logs with urban appliances continuing to wet down the area supported by heavy tankers. Later today a large sprinkler system will be installed to maintain a wet cover while earthmoving machinery continues to open up the piles. The fire ground should be handed back to the owner later today.

The Regional Co-ordination Centre has been stood down but crews and aircraft will be on standby today and as required over the holiday break.

“The message to our communities is be safe with any ignition source given the amount of dry vegetation fuels available to burn and the warm dry summer conditions. Yesterday’s fires on the Christchurch boundaries were a stark reminder for us all”

“Vegetation fire danger and risk is one we all need to take action on as individuals, communities and as a nation. Rural and urban-rural property owners can take some simple steps now that will help keep their properties safe, and allow us all to have a good Christmas period.”

Key fire safety tips include:

  • Make sure your property has good access for firetrucks, and to water supplies.

  • Have a well-practiced escape plan so everyone knows what to do if there is a fire.

  • Call 111 immediately if you see any smoke.

  • Maintain a defendable area free of vegetation around your home

  • Store firewood in a cool dry place, not next to your home. It will dry out with the sun and heat and ignite easily.

  • Be vigilant when carrying out activities with machinery that causes sparks and ignite a fire. Dampen down the surrounding area beforehand, and undertake the activity first thing in the morning when it is coolest.

  • Remember to check the fire season at as these activities may be fully prohibited due to the high risk of them starting a fire.

Use our fire safety checklist to help make sure your property is safe from vegetation fires this summer.



For more information, contact Anna Hughes National Communications Manager –  Fire and Emergency New Zealand, or 027 591 8837