Firefighters working on Port Hills blaze take time out to remember 13th anniversary of Christchurch earthquake

Firefighters working on the Port Hills fire took time out on Thursday to remember another major emergency - the earthquake that killed 185 people. 

It's 13 years since the disaster struck and many of those battling the Port Hills blaze were among the first responders on February 22, 2011. 

"We've got people that have been at every major crisis that we've had in this town," Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said in Christchurch on Thursday. 

As the city paused to reflect on the 13 years since the devastating earthquake, the tireless work continued on the fire which once again devastated the Port Hills. 

Luxon thanked those who've given their time to act. 

"Thanks very much for what you're doing... and when you're leaving your day jobs," the Prime Minister said. 

"These are people that have day jobs that choose to volunteer as firefighters," he said. 

The consensus is they've done an outstanding job on the Port Hills, with reduced crews now dealing with the last few remaining hot spots. 

Canterbury is no stranger to emergencies or natural disasters. Some of the key first responders on the ground at the Port Hills were also key after the earthquake 13 years ago.

"I responded straight into the PGC building," Fire and Emergency New Zealand assistant district commander Steve Kennedy said. 

"The memories are still there, etched into the mind - always will be. 

"Here we're standing at another incident ground, albeit of a different type."