Christchurch fires: Donations pour in for dead pilot Steve Askin's family

Loading Gerry Brownlee has called a meeting to discuss the response to the Port Hills fires

After 11 homes were destroyed and hundreds were chased from their homes, there was finally some good news from officials fighting a wildfire in New Zealand's second-largest city: crews were finally able to halt the inferno's advance toward suburban homes.

Cars succumb to an out of control fire on Monday evening.

"Police and New Zealand Defence personnel are now evacuating homes in the Kennedys Bush, Cashmere and Hoon Hay Valley roads as well as homes from the Sign of the Takahe to Victoria Park", a Christchurch Civil Defence spokesperson said.

The cause of the fire was not yet known and authorities were investigating.

John Mackie, the civil defence controller for Christchurch, said about 130 firefighters on the ground, assisted by more than a dozen helicopters, had stopped the fire from encroaching further into the city. More than 100 firefighters have also been sent to the area.

Mr Askin was dumping water on the blaze when his helicopter came crashing down, the fearless emergency worker died at the scene.

A helicopter pilot died in a crash while fighting the blaze earlier this week.

"There's a whole lot of people here who have been traumatized by the events, some who have lost their homes, many have been evacuated", Prime Minister Bill English told reporters in Christchurch after cancelling all his engagements to fly to the South Island city.

'At this point in time the fire's not threatening any other properties. but we'll just have to see how the day and the fire develops, ' Mr Adamson said. Broughton said displaced residents were staying at evacuation centers or with relatives. The situation worsened after a change of wind direction flared up the fire overnight on Wednesday, pushing the flames in the direction of houses and burning roughly 50 hectares of land in the process.



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