Smoke chokes sky in Port Hills aerial fire photo

What you need to know:

  • Several houses have been destroyed
  • The fire has crossed Dyers Pass Road into Victoria Park
  • A state of emergency has been declared and the Defence Force called in
  • Helicopters have been stood down
  • If you're at all worried, ring 111 and self evacuate. Don't wait until someone knocks on your door.

Evacuated areas:

  • South side of Cashmere Rd to Kennedy's Bush Rd and to Hoon Hay Valley Rd
  • Residents in the area from the Sign of the Takehe to Victoria Park
  • Several hundred people have been officially evacuated from homes in Long Hurst Terrace, Worsley Rd, Cracroft, the bottom of Hoon Hay Valley Rd and the Westmorland area
  • Hundreds of others across the hills have self-evacuated as the fire spreads.

Where to go:

  • Welfare centres for evacuated residents have been set up at Te Hāpua Halswell Centre on Halswell Rd, Ngā Hau e Whā National Marae on Pages Rd and the Selwyn Events centre on Meijer Dr.

An aerial photo of the Port Hills fires shows the extent of the smoke caused by the devastating inferno.

The picture was taken by Michael Hodgson, a passenger of a Dunedin to Christchurch flight, as they flew overhead.

It shows a giant grey cloud of smoke billowing up into the air from the fires.

The fires have raged since Monday afternoon, destroying buildings, vehicles and forcing evacuations.

A state of emergency has been declared in Christchurch City and Selwyn District.