'Large vegetation' blaze breaks out in Canterbury's Kirwee amid day of 31C temperatures, 'extreme fire danger'

  • 11/01/2024

A large vegetation blaze in Canterbury has broken out amid soaring temperatures in the region.  

Temperatures in Christchurch were expected to climb to 31C on Thursday.  

"Today is an extreme fire danger day," Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) said.  

Northwest winds and relatively low humidity meant a fire could "easily start and be hard to contain", it said. The volunteer fire brigade in Kirwee, about 40km west of Christchurch, was at the scene of a "large vegetation" blaze near the Waimakariri River on Courtenay Rd.  

People needed to avoid mowing lawns or other machinery works during the hottest parts of Thursday, FENZ warned. MetService's 48-hour forecast showed the hottest times of the day as being between 3pm and 4pm.  

"Please avoid lighting any fires, even approved fire types. Check any fires you have previously lit in the past week and ensure they are fully extinguished," FENZ said.  

Last week, FENZ reported multiple blazes breaking out along a railway line between Aylesbury and Darfield - not far from where Thursday's fire started.