Live: Fires continue to rage through Christchurch's Port Hills

As it happened: Port Hills blaze spreads overnight

4:52am: More evacuations are being carried out on Dyers Pass Rd, the main road up the Port Hills, as the fire continues to spread.

Those downhill of the Sign of the Takahe, as far as and including Kiteroa Pl and Pentre Tce, are being contacted by police.

Officers are knocking on doors to evacuate around 30-40 residents.

4:12am: At least 126 people are without power due to the fire, as of 4:12am on Wednesday.

Orion says 42 people are without power in Cashmere, with others cut off in Westmorland, Lansdowne and Governors Bay.

Some have been without power since as early as 2pm on Tuesday.

It's not yet known when power will be restored.

Christchurch Port Hills fire
(Jaxson Lane / supplied)

3:29am: Helicopters will be sent back in to battle the fire as soon as dawn breaks.

Fourteen helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft fought the fire on Wednesday evening, but were grounded once it grew dark.

Christchurch Civil Defence says there's been a "drop in fire activity" overnight as fire crews work to protect nearby properties.

"There are some still very active fire fronts up on the Port Hills, but not as many as there were prior to midnight," it says.

2:15am: Most people who have been evacuated have found accommodation, the Christchurch Civil Defence says.

Six people from Pentworth Place in West Moorland have been evacuated and are staying at Te Hāpua, which has been opened up for evacuees.

A fire service spokesperson says their biggest concern is rubberneckers getting dangerously close to the fires.

They say while the blaze is close to the transmission tower on the Sugarloaf summit, the structure is safe at the moment.

In addition to more than 30 fire crews, there are 50 police and 36 New Zealand Defence Force personnel working overnight.

Christchurch Port Hills Fire
(Hamish Clark / Newshub.)

1:09am: The Port Hills fires have merged into one, the Christchurch Civil Defence says, which has engulfed more than 1850 hectares.

Eight houses have now been destroyed by the blazes, which has crossed Dyers Pass Rd, below Sign of the Kiwi, and is developing in Victoria Park.

"It has also spread to within close proximity of the dense residential housing of Westmorland," Christchurch Civil Defence says.

Evacuations by police and the Defence Force are still continuing as the fire continues to spread.

Christchurch Port Hills fire
(Bojana Meduric / supplied)

1:00am: A Facebook group has been created offering accommodation to those who have had to evacuate due to the fires.

Dozens of people have already offered up their homes and beds to those in need.

One of the people behind the page has encouraged anyone who is concerned about the fire to evacuate.

"Don't leave this to chance," Cheney Poole wrote.

"Make sure you have a travel pack ready to go, and a solid line of contact with whomever you are going to contact.

"Stay strong people, we will get through this."

12:39am: More than 1000 people have evacuated due to the fires, a Civil Defence spokesperson has confirmed to Newshub.

This includes several hundred who have been evacuated by police and the Defence Force, as well as others who have self-evacuated.

Christchurch Port Hills fire Sugarloaf tower
(Melly Ross / Facebook)

12:27am: The blaze is coming dangerously close to the tower which provides TV and radio transmissions for much of Canterbury.

The fire has reached the Sugarloaf carpark, at the top of the Port Hills, and is threatening the transmitter.

It provides both FM and television transmissions across Christchurch and other parts of Canterbury.

12:08am: Civil Defence and the Mayor's office incorrectly reported more than 40 houses had been destroyed in the blaze on Worsley Spur. This has since been revised to two to three houses by Christchurch Civil Defence.

A spokesperson for Christchurch Civil Defence told Newshub police had passed on incorrect information to a rural fire officer.

Five other houses were destroyed earlier in the day and on Tuesday.

Christchurch Port Hills fire
(Hamish Clark / Newshub.)

11:43pm: Several houses have been destroyed on Worsley Spur in the Port Hills as the fire rages on.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel says people in the Port Hills area have to be ready to evacuate as quickly as possible.

Police and Defence Force personnel are door-knocking on streets where people need to be evacuated.

"It's an enormous tragedy what's happening tonight and people are asking themselves why this is happening," Ms Dalziel says.

(Emma Cropper/Newshub)
(Emma Cropper/Newshub)

11:32pm: Emergency services can be seen scattered across the Port Hills trying to evacuate as many residents as they can.

Hundreds of anxious residents are standing on the footpaths and roads in their pyjamas wondering if they have to evacuate.

One resident told Newshub they were too scared to sleep tonight because they could see flames from their house.

11:13pm: Fourteen helicopters and two fixed-wing planes have been stood down for the night.

RadioLIVE listener Bill says he's watching the fire spreading and described the departure of the helicopters as "heartbreaking".

"It's something out of a horror movie. The houses that are in the way of the fire - you can see the flashing lights of the poor buggers that are doing their job."

Bill says the fires are now out of control.

"The helicopters are leaving," he says. "I've watched about eight to nine of them pull out together… It's quite heartbreaking."

(Newshub/Emma Cropper)
(Newshub/Emma Cropper)

10:35pm: The Christchurch City Council has issued an urgent update warning residents in the area from the Sign of the Takehe to Victoria Park should evacuate their homes.

The fire has crossed Dyers Pass Road into Victoria Park. Police and the Defence Force are evacuating properties.

The south side of Cashmere Rd to Kennedy's Bush Road and to Hoon Hay Valley Rd is also being evacuated.

Other residents living close to the Port Hills fires have been warned to prepare to evacuate at short notice.

The Marley Hill fire has spread extensively down Worsley Spur and is approaching the residential area of Westmorland, and the Early Valley Rd fire area is also growing.

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