Port Hills blaze: Fire and Emergency warns of strong winds for Port Hills blaze, 'could be problematic'

Fire and Emergency has warned about "problematic" weather conditions in Ōtautahi/Christchurch, with strong northwest winds forecast for Monday.

It comes as fire crews battle the Port Hills fire for a fifth day, making the most of a reprieve in the weather on Sunday.

But that's due to change on Monday, as MetService forecasts severe northwest gales in exposed places for the Canterbury High Country.

A strong wind warning applies there from 5am until 3pm on Monday, with gusts potentially reaching up to 130km/h.

Steve Kennedy, Fire and Emergency incident controller, told reporters on Sunday that fire crews have identified 60 hotspots using a thermal-imaging drone.

"We're putting all resources into those hotspots, and especially in some areas that could be problematic if we get a weather change tomorrow," he said.

Some crews have been working to extinguish the blaze since it broke out on Wednesday.

"It's hot, hard work for them."

Drones ground helicopter operations again

People flying drones continue to be a headache for emergency services.

A private drone was spotted flying around the bottom of the hill near Cashmere Rd in Westmorland on Sunday morning. The owner couldn't be tracked down.

"I urge people out there with drones, please just keep away from the area we're working in," Kennedy said.

"This morning we had to bring our helicopters down because they cannot fly while there's private drones flying around that area. It's a huge safety risk for us."

He said fire crews only fly their drones at night, so any drone seen during the day "is not one of ours".

Police inspector Ash Tabb also said there was another drone incident on Saturday night.

"We're actively investigating those drone incidents in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority."

He said drones aren't allowed to operate within 4km of any aircraft taking off or landing.

"If you do see a drone in the air, please ring 111 immediately," Tabb said.

He also said some people are also trying to access nearby walking tracks.

"The area is closed," Tabb told reporters.

"It's for a short period of time - can we just keep out of the area."